A race fit for a king

Race Ten, last race of the day sets off. The Cafe Caprice Maiden Plate closes off a day of fine racing at the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate in 2011 as the shadows start to stretch across the track. Picture by Greg Beadle

South Africa’s prestigious and long-standing horse racing event, the 162nd L’Ormarins King’s Plate will take place at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday January 7.

The race, formerly known as the Queen’s Plate, has been renamed in light of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing in September last year.

Thousands of racing enthusiasts are expected to attend to witness history in the making with Jet Dark potentially winning his third Plate in a row and cementing himself as one of the all-time greats, the organisers said.

The day will also see the first ever women’s race, the Okapi Ladies International, with only female jockeys at the helm.

Guests who don their finest outfits in keeping with the strict blue and white dress code could stand the chance of winning the competitions for Best Hat, and Best Dressed Man or Best Dressed Woman.

Up for grabs are prizes from Cartier, Victoria Gin and Anthonij Rupert Wyne. The grand prize for the Best Dressed Woman will be a trip for two to experience the Qatar Goodwood Festival, one of the undisputed highlights of the British racing season at the end of July 2023.

In addition to the fixtures and fashion, attendees can expect food, fine wines and antique car displays from the Franschhoek Motor Museum, as well as an after party where international DJ Lora, will entertain guests as the sun sets over the racecourse.

The event runs from noon until 11pm and tickets, priced from R500 each, are available from the event website.