Santa will be coming to the races on Wednesday to bring Christmas cheer to some 250 underprivileged children from seven homes.
The race meeting had to be postponed from Tuesday due to rain.
The children will be treated to a full afternoon’s entertainment that includes face painting, pony rides, a dancing competition and a jumping castle at Phumelela’s annual Christmas Tree raceday. After an early dinner, Father Christmas will give them each a present, some toiletries and a small bag of goodies for the journey home.
As normal, the participating homes have been asked to compile wish lists of much-needed appliances and other items, like bedding. With the help of sponsors and other donations, Phumelela expects it to be possible to provide the homes with most, if not all, the items they have wished for.
In addition, R30,000 from the proceeds will be set aside for a college bursary, to be awarded by Phumelela in conjunction with St Laurence’s Children’s Haven, for one of the children to further their studies in 2014.
The participating homes are Abraham Kriel Childcare, Sparrow Ministries, St Mary’s Children’s Home, the Look Forward Creativity Centre, the Love Of Christ Children’s Home, the Teddy Bear Clinic and the St Laurence’s Children’s Haven, which plays a key role in assisting and organising the event.
The meeting is one of the most poignant of the year as racegoers watch the children’s joy and excitement as they celebrate Christmas at the races. And there will also be action aplenty on the racetrack, with the Listed Secretariat Stakes for three-year-olds heading up a competitive card.
Louis The King will bid to hold on to his unbeaten record in the 1400m race. He looks a talented sort who could go on to win at the top level.
He has also won both his starts to date, most recently beating Rumbling Lion by 2.25 lengths over 1700m at the Vaal.
He is the mount of Geoff Woodruff’s stable rider Robbie Fradd and will be joined in the line-up by stablemate Principled Man, who needed his run in the Graham Beck Stakes and could shape if repeating his close sixth to Kochka in the Premier’s Champion Stakes in July.
Tiger Territory and Jimmi Choo have fair feature-race form and cannot be ruled out, while Victorinox and recent maiden winner Master Archer are others who could run into the money.
Best bet on the card comes in Race 6 with Mike de Kock-trained Taarish.
It was obviously common knowledge that he wouldn’t shape from a wide draw in the Investec Dingaans on Summer Cup Day and he finished 10.50 lengths behind Willow Magic in that 1600m race.
He had promising form before that which included two wins and four placings from as many career starts.