Time flies and entries for the R5 million Gr1 Sun Met close at 11h00 on Wednesday 28 November.
The Kenilworth flagship event, now run at weight-for-age and won for the first time in over 100 years by a 3yo filly in 2018, will be run on Saturday 26 January 2019.
It is interesting to note that despite being popularly abandoned in November 2017, the official public gallops are once again part of the race conditions for the 2019 renewal.
The condition records that it shall be at the Operators discretion that all runners participate in public gallops scheduled for Thursday 17 January, failing which, the horse may be declared ineligible to run in the Met.
In the event of exceptional unforseen circumstances, the Racing Operator may in its sole discretion preclude a horse from this condition. Further, the Racing Operator reserves the right in its sole discretion to allow a horse stabled out of province on the day of the gallops to work out at a race meeting in the province where stabled prior to 17 January provided that the workout is filmed and screened on 17 January.
Last year Kenilworth Racing announced that the trainers were not in favour of the Met gallops, which were ‘a bit close to the race’. They also said that the cancellation of the condition was being agreed to in the best interests of the horses, as every time they were travelled, they were at risk and some of them could get stirred up.
It would be interesting to find out what Gold Circle do so differently and how the Vodacom Durban July gallops remain so popular.
There is a bonus of R1 million on offer for any horse who wins the Summer Cup and the Sun Met.