Calling the R5 million Sun Met celebrated with Mumm – to give it its full, sponsored, title – a horse race is like labelling Usain Bolt, who is an invited guest today, a runner.
The race and, indeed, the full meeting at Kenilworth racecourse today, is much, much more than mere thoroughbreds pounding over the turf, urged on by gaily coloured, frenetic jockeys.
It is one of the social events of the year where anyone who is anyone – or someone wanting to join that elite set – has to be seen.
The fashion – gorgeous, extravagant and sometimes daring – attracts as much, or more, attention than the horses themselves.
Today, the glitz and glamour will, for a while at least, help take the minds of some Capetonians off the looming day when the water runs out.
The spectacle of the Met is also a vivid reminder that this country is quite capable of hosting world-class events and that, in this regard, we stand out on the African continent.
Behind it all, though, is the reality of a thriving racing industry, which generates billions of rands a year, makes a significant contribution to the gross domestic product of the country and employs thousands of people.
Long may the horses run!
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