where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2022-01-02 10:34:22  
Waiting To Discover it All after Nominations Mess

The heavily backed L'Ormarins Queens Plate, a race sponsored by an arm of the famous and wealthy Rupert family will be in the eye of the South African Racing public this coming week.

One of the most popular festivals of racing in South Africa will be held in Cape Town at Kenilworth racecourse this coming Friday and Saturday. After the disgraceful abandonment of Sunday 2 January racing at Kenilworth due to the lack of nominations to hold the meeting, the next Cape Race day falls on the Friday of the Queens Plate festival. It is a race meeting steeped in history as is Kenilworth racecourse.

However, the situation in Cape Town can only be described as a royal mess, a mess made of programming of races. A card that didn't fit the horse population was presented for a meeting which didn't attracted the requisite number of horses to stage the meeting. It was canceled and in turn highlighted the skills shortage available in racing for early identification of this issue and to deal with it. In the midst of the great Cape Summer season, no CEO would have survived this disgrace. In fact, the entire issue has been passed over like little wrong has happened. Cape racing needs massive changes end to end and that may start with a successful Queens Plate, a meeting now bigger than the once popular Cape Met and one of the best mile races in the country.

The powers that be won't let that fail and those powers are the sponsors, not the management. They pour buckets into the production of the event and last year was no different with decent innovation with loads of behind the scenes issues hidden from the public view. This year, after the lessons of 2021, it should be different, better even. The hopes are high.

The same TV production outsource, Discovery Digital, will be at the forefront of the TV production of the event. The 2021 Queens Plate was successful, largely due to organiser, Katherine Gray. In fact it was plain to see how good the organization and funding of the Queens Plate was when the then unsponsored Met came around. It was a shocker of a production, in comparison. All eyes are on this TV production as it runs without the top class Heather Hildick and other experienced Kenilworth Racing staff who have since retired. The new kids in the block are inexperienced at horse racing production and have no track record outside of their 4 Racing business. Racing isn't as easy as other sports and there are plenty of school fees to be paid. We wish them well for racings sake.

The slick operation Gray puts on will surely cover up any obvious issues and she and her team have turned the Queens Plate into a top class event. The funding helps but the ideas also need to flow. The show is anything but Grey. Blue and White in fact, and a stunning blue at that.

Cape Racing is in dire need of it and the fillip it gives to the cape crowd would do wonders. .

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