Ladies Race Launches Royal Day

Fairer sex show their mettle in unique race

The inaugural R200 000 Okapi Ladies International is the opening race on a bumper L’Ormarins King’s Plate card programmed for Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on 7 January 2023.

While the 162nd renewal of the R2 million Gr1 L’Ormarins King’s Plate presents a vintage renewal of one of our oldest races, the Lady riders contest down the 1200m straight is bound to attract plenty of interest.

Getting the feel of the green! (Pic – Troy Finch / Cape Racing)

The concept is the brainchild of Drakenstein’s Gaynor Rupert who was impressed by a similar concept, the Magnolia Cup at Glorious Goodwood in Britain, deciding it would be a great idea to implement in South Africa.

The race hosts twelve experienced equestrians, including former professional rider Vicky Lerena (nee Badenhorst) , who rode a cracker to win a Workriders race recently, and pioneering former Zimbabwe apprentice O’Meara Chiedza Rusike.

The Lady riders have been preparing specially for this event since October, under the tutelage of riding master and former jockey, Craig du Plooy. “I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I am with the candidates – they are outstanding,” said du Plooy.

“They have joined my normal training classes for race riders and have been putting in the hard graft, showing lots of commitment. I want each rider to take the necessary precautions and make them as familiar as possible with all aspects of race riding. They have been doing track work, grass gallops and going through the starting stalls, backed up with video analysis. I’m getting so excited to see how they cope and develop.”

Fairer sex go thorugh their paces at Milnerton (Pic – Troy Finch / Cape Racing)

Gina Goldsmith, who, together with Jonathan Snaith was instrumental in making the unique race happen, confirmed that safety comes first.

“All candidates are training rigorously on their strength and fitness. It’s been hard work, but Craig is an excellent coach and the ladies have been supporting and encouraging one another. Thanks, are also due to trainers around the country for supplying candidate horses for us to practice on. Lucinda Woodruff at Milnerton has been especially helpful,” she added.

The Snaith Racing Team dominate the line-up with 6 of the 12 runners:

Race-1 (Turf) R200 000 1200m 12:05 Ref-236
1st R118750, 2nd R38000, 3rd R19000, 4th R9500, 5th R4750, RCIS R10000
For 3yo & older F&M rated nett 91 and below (NBT)No Apprentice Allowance
1 1 Distinction 59 90 A #Danielle Rivalland Justin Snaith
2 2 Vivacious Spirit 61 92 A #Vicky Lerena J A Janse van Vuuren
3 3 Betty Boop 59 87 A #Chelsea Wilson Justin Snaith
4 4 Ancient Epic 63 91 A #Samantha Swanepoel Gareth van Zyl
5 5 Certainly 59 87 A #Helen Richardson Glen Kotzen
6 6 Miss Greenlight 61 84 A #Colinda Austin Brett Crawford
7 7 Butterfly Beauty 61 93 TBA #Emma Rose Finney Justin Snaith
8 8 Pacific Green 59 89 A #O’Meara Rusike Justin Snaith
9 9 Bonika 63 98 A #Julia Pilbeam Justin Snaith
10 10 Island Treasure 57 77 A #Kim Meaker Lucinda Woodruff
11 11 Country Time 57 83 A #Kelsey Mayhew-Munger Candice Bass-Robinson
12 12 Say Yes 55 81 A #Hannah Sida Justin Snaith
Same Trainer

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