Backing the right horse

Cape Town - South Africa’s top 14 thoroughbreds came together at Kenilworth racecourse on Saturday, January 11, 2014 for the country’s leading weight-for-age horse race, the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, in pursuit of the R1 million purse.

VIDEO: Stars come out at L'Ormarins Queen's Plate

GALLERY: L'Ormarins Queen's Plate swag
This year, Cape Guineas Grade 1 and Cape Derby Grade 1 winner, Capetown Noir, and rider Karl Neisius had spectators on their feet as they galloped over the finish line to take the winner’s garland ahead of favourite, Jackson, as runner-up and six-year-old gelding, Jet Explorer, in third place.
For the first time ever, this year the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate featured several internationally-acclaimed races; the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, Oak Tree Stakes and Paddock Stakes, the only South African races which allow their winners entry into the elite Breeders’ Cup Mile; as well as England’s revered race, the Glorious Goodwood, in Cape Town to run the Glorious Goodwood Peninsula Stakes Grade 2 on the day’s stellar card.
“The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate 2014 exceeded expectations – from the horses to the guests to the entertainment. In excess of 6 000 people attended and on-course betting turnover was up 25% from last year. It was a magnificent event that reminded all present of why LQP is considered the Cape’s most prestigious horse racing event,” says the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate 2014 co-ordinator, Katherine Gray.
As one of the most popular events on Cape Town’s summer social calendar, guests in attendance included the Earl and Countess of March, the Earl and Countess of Harrington, Her Majesty’s Representative & Chairman of Ascot Race-course Mr Johnny Weatherly, mining mogul Patrice Motsepe, international musician Mike Rutherford and former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan.
Off-track, the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate was the quintessence of elegance with gentlemen and ladies in blue & white finery enjoying the horseracing action as well as the various culinary and hospitality offerings at the Style Lounge, Drakenstein Luncheon, Jockey Club and the legendary Stud Club.
Celebrity judges, Bee Diamondhead (Marie Claire SA Junior Fashion Editor), Bronwyn Day (Glamour SA Fashion Editor), Malcolm KLûk and Christiaan Gabriel du Toit (KLûK CGDT founders and designers), and Tammy Tinker (Merchants on Long Creative Director) presided over the traditional Best Dressed Lady and Best Hat competitions, in addition to the first ever Best Dressed Man contest. This year’s coveted accolades went to model/TV presenter Cindy Nell-Roberts, fashion blogger Kim Gray and actor/comedian Siv Ngesi, respectively.
Other celebrities attending the L’Ormarins Queens Plate included Tracy McGregor, Lyndall Jarvis, surfing champ Jordy Smith, Olympic swimmer Ryk Neethling, Rob Louw, Liezel van der Westhuizen and Janez Vermeiren, all who mingled in style in the legendary Stud Club before joining fellow race goers on the dance floor after the race for an exhilarating electronic dance party led by popular local DJs Fresh and Euphonik and glamorous UK queen of dance, DJ Lora.

Capetown Noir surges to victory in the 1 600m L'Ormarins Queen's Plate (Supplied)

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