The J&B Met is one of South Africa’s leading horseraces but it will be taking to the international stage this year with the news that CNN will be covering the R2.5 million race at Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday, January 30.
The Met was first run in 1876 and J&B will be sponsoring the event for the 39th time, making it the longest standing sports sponsorship in the country.
The Citizen is giving its readers the chance to win a dream weekend to watch this year’s J&B Met.
The prize for two people includes flights, accommodation, meals, betting and clothing vouchers, VIP hospitality at the races and cash. The competition closes on Friday.
The final field for the Cape showpiece was unveiled on Monday and comprises 15 of the best horses in the country.
Only two of the highest rated runners failed to take their places – Durban July winner Power King and SA Classic champion French Navy.
However, champion trainer Sean Tarry saddles Legal Eagle, the hot 12-10 favourite, who will be out to match the achievement of Futura last year in attempting to win the Queen’s Plate and the Met in the same year.
Anton Marcus, who rides the four-year-old, completed the same double on Empress Club in 1993 and much more recently won the 2014 Met on Hill Fifty Four.
Legal Eagle’s trainer, Sean Tarry, won the 2005 Met with Alastor who was a 50-1 chance and was his first Met runner.
Tarry did not take advantage of Alastor’s big price but he did bid for the horse at a pre-race sweepstake cocktail party.
He paid R2 500 and won R100 000. Futura, who completed the double last season when trained by Brett Crawford, is 3-1 second favourite while stable companion Legislate comes next in the market at 5-1.
The 2014 Vodacom Durban July winner had to be scratched from last year’s race as he had not recovered from the virus which caused him to run badly in the Queen’s Plate for which he was odds-on favourite.
Geoff Woodruff, successful in the 2004 Met with Yard-Arm, runs both his first and second in the Sansui Summer Cup, the 12-1 Master Sabina and Deo Juvente who is at 10-1.
Smart Call will have her supporters. She won the R1 million Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes earlier this month. She is the lone filly in the race and is on offer at 12-1.
Smart Call will run in familiar black and yellow colours of the late Bridget Oppenheimer. The colours have been taken over by Mrs O’s granddaughter, Jessica Slack.
The CNN International team’s 2016 J&B Met review will be aired on their horseracing programme, The Winning Post, on Saturday, February 20 at 7.30pm.