The news that multiple British champion jockey Ryan Moore has been confirmed to partner defending champion Rainbow Bridge in the 2020 R3 million Gr1 Sun Met adds much needed international interest to the Cape’s flagship contest.
The Eric Sands trained Rainbow Bridge defends his title in the 2000m weight-for-age event on 1 February, and while the big son of Ideal World will be fit and ready, he has had a host of jockeys over time – including top men Richard Fourie, Bernard Fayd’herbe, Gavin Lerena and Anton Marcus – and is obviously no easy horse to ride.
Moore is first rider for Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle operation and his international Gr1 record is exemplary – with successes in Hong Kong, Dubai, Japan, Canada, America, Australia and throughout Europe.
Trainer Eric Sands, who bids for the big race double, told the Sporting Post on Saturday that Moore was ‘confirmed at this stage’.
Rainbow Bridge won the race last year in the late Chris Gerber’s silks and will compete in the famous Rattray red and white this time round.
Declarations for the Sun Met are due at 11h00 on Monday and the field will be published later in the day.
There are unlikely to be any eliminations necessary as only 21 entries remain and 20 can run.
The barrier draws will be done on Tuesday.
The Sun Met first cheque is R1 710 000, with stakes paid down to tenth finisher, who banks R30 000.
Tote betting opens on Monday 27 January and a projected Pick 6 pool of R18 million is anticipated. .