The Sun Met, celebrated with G.H.Mumm, produced some spectacular racing, with matching interest shown by racegoers, the media, celebrities and the City of Cape Town.
According to Gareth Flusk, Promotions & Events Manager at Sun International, the interest generated by this year’s showcase racing event in the Mother City is reflected in the fact that attendance figures exceeded expectations, with more than 11,000 people going through the turnstiles on the day. This despite the trying economic conditions.
“Overall, the day was well attended,” said Flusk. “The Sun Met is very much a Cape Town event and it is extremely pleasing to see that the people of the City have bought in to the Sun Met.
“The local interest in the premier glitz and glamour race-day is most certainly on the up.
“The media interest this year has also been spectacular and contributed greatly to the success of the day.”
Local and international punters have also taken a keen interest in the Sun Met, with the tote turnover on the day meeting expectations, despite there being one race less than in the previous year and only 13 horses contesting the main race.
“Turnover on the main race itself reached R8.3 million,” said Mervin Gamble, General Manager: Sports Betting at Tab/Betting World.
Tab’s new Racing Roulette bet, launched on Sun Met Day, proved to be a very popular option. With this new bet, all the horses in a race are divided into three groups. Each group is then allocated a colour – green, red, and black – with punters betting on the winning colour.
This new bet was offered on four races on Sun Met Day and each of the four pools reached between R20,000 and R25,000, said Gamble.
Favourable results on the day resulted in a Pick 6 dividend of R20,967, while the Quartet on the Sun Met paid R1,180.
The biggest pay-out on the day was in Race 2 where the Quartet paid over R144,000.
Clyde Basel, Racing Executive at Phumelela, said the day produced fantastic racing.
“What a pleasure to see such champions in the flesh. What makes the day so enjoyable is watching new fans witness the celebration among winning connections.
“What can be more exciting than watching them battle it out all the way to the line for victory and take the bow for such great achievement?
“Congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you to everyone who participated On Sun Met day.”
Rob Scott, Betting, Marketing and Publishing Executive at Phumelela, said despite the extensive and positive press coverage of the event, they are aware of a number of negative comments doing the rounds on social media.
“We can’t ignore the negative comments,” said Scott. “That is why the Sun Met team, as well as Kenilworth Racing, are constantly working to improve the race day and to drive the on-course attendance.
“We will be making adjustments to ensure that valid complaints are addressed in order to build on the solid relationship we have with not only the sponsors, but also with the racing public.”
Scott added that, despite the glitz and the glamour associated with the Sun Met, celebrated with G.H. Mumm, it is important to accommodate punters at all levels.
This year was also the second year that the Sun Met was simulcast in Hong Kong. A total of seven races (races 4 – 10) were broadcast live through the Hong Kong Jockey Club – one more than in 2018 – with betting turnovers increasing by 27% in the Chinese territory.
“Unfortunately, due to a breakdown in communication between Phumelela International and the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the jockey changes resulting from jockey Donovan Dillon becoming indisposed after the first race, was never communicated,” said Dean Sawarjith, head of Phumelela’s International Division.
“Despite this unfortunate incident the international broadcast of the Met Day races were a resounding success.”
The last word, as Scott reiterates, should be reserved for Rainbow Bridge, winner of the headline race, and his owner, the late Chris Gerber.
- Press Release by Phumelela Gaming & Leisure on 31 January 2019
- Pics – Sun Met Facebook