The Sun Met Remains A Cultural Icon for South Africa

The Sun Met

The Sun Met Remains a Cultural Icon for South Africa Horse racing is one of the world’s most popular sports and commands an audience that stretches across continents. The sport has remained entrenched in the sporting calendars across countries in the commonwealth – none more so than South Africa. The enjoyment of the sport created a demand for the country to have events that can match Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot, as well as the signature races such as the Grand National and The Derby. The Sun Met is the most popular horse race in South Africa and is the most lucrative in terms of prize money for owners, trainers, and jockeys. 

The purse is worth up to $300,000, which pales into relative insignificance compared to the Grand National and The Derby. The Sun Met has a strong history in the spot, with the race dating back to 1883 when it was known as the Metropolitan Mile. It has lasted over 137 years and remains as popular as ever for spectators. Staged at Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town, 50,000 people flood to the event every year. 

Tickets are like hotcakes, selling for as low as $13, although the great and the good of South Africa line up the most expensive seats that are worth up to $800. The red carpet before the event captures the imagination just as much as the action on the track. Celebrities from across the country converge on Cape Town dressed to the nines, enjoying the festivities off the track that include party games and a fashion show. It’s the place to be if you’re a superstar from South Africa. 


However, the main priority is the racing. Trainers and jockeys hone their skills throughout the season in preparation for the race that could etch their place in South African racing history. For racegoers, tracking the sports betting odds on horse racing is an important method of preparation for travelling to the Sun Met. Whether seasoned racegoers or novices, the wise amongst them tend to be armed with a reliable, clear source of information to refer to when placing bets. 

Horses can become legends by winning the race – Politician and Pocket Power are two of the standouts that have thrived at the race. Politician was the only horse to win back-to-back Sun Mets before Pocket Power came along to trump his achievement by winning three on the bounce between 2007 and 2009. The atmosphere at the Sun Met is rarely matched across South Africa. Perhaps only watching the world champion Springboks can match the same intensity for a sporting event. It is why the Sun Met continues to thrive as a vital part of sporting life in the country, but also now as a cultural event, attracting new audiences to Kenilworth Racecourse. The Sun Met will only continue to grow, which will provide a huge boost for horse racing in South Africa hopefully for many years to come.
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