A number of international punters and local celebrities flew out especially to join in the success of the inaugural L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival which saw South Africa’s top thoroughbreds come together as champions at Kenilworth Racecourse on Friday and Saturday and Legal Eagle taking the coveted L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.
South Africa’s horse of the year and defending champion, Legal Eagle, ridden by Anton Marcus thrilled punters when he proudly strutted away with the R1.5 million purse, all the while opening an exhilarating 2017 racing season. Furthermore, off the track entertainment turned LQP into the most talked about event in South Africa with #LQP being the country’s number one trending hashtag.
“LQP 2017 once again proved why it is an internationally-recognised horse-racing event. Starting with Friday’s stellar Garden Party and superb horseracing leading into Saturday’s bustling social scene, outstanding entertainment and excellent racecard, reminded all present why it is also considered one of the top 5 races in the world,” said L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival Coordinator, Katherine Gray.
LQP’s stellar 18-race card, spread over 8 races on Friday and 10 on the Saturday, featured several recognised races including the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes (Grade 1), the only South African races which allow their winners entry into the elite Breeders’ Cup Mile in the USA, as well as the Glorious Goodwood Peninsula Stakes (Grade 2). Other prominent races included the Cartier Sceptre Stakes and Cartier Politician Stakes.
The Cape’s premier horseracing and social festival impressed track-side too, initially at the Garden Party with a full jazz band entertaining beautiful guests as they sipped on sparkling wine and enjoyed a delectable harvest table of gourmet delights.
In addition, the day also included its own Best Dressed competitions, with spectacular prizes from Cartier, SKYY Vodka, Bobbi Brown, Society Bistro, Sports24 Hrs Taxis and L’Ormarins Wines.
On Saturday, 5000 attendees went all out and donned their most stylish blue and white, including international and local celebrities and socialites- most notably the English royal family’s Princess Eugenie, sport stars such as Ryk Neethling, Sean Fitzpatrick, Jeffrey Boycott, Jacques Kallis, Huw Jones and Michael Holding, TV and radio personalities Boity Thulo, Bonnie Mbuli, Siv Ngesi, Lindiwe Suttle and Tracey Lange, the singer Matthew Gold, eminent SA designer David Tlale and F1 Racer Eddie Jordan to name a few.
Other stellar entertainment included performance by Ken Fac, the colourful Cape Minstrels, who opened the L’Ormarins Queens Plate race, and ultimately culminated in a rock-star After-Party with internationally renowned SA deejay, Euphonik igniting the dance floor.
Elzette Gustavsson won the Best Hat Competition and while the Best Dressed Man was awarded to Hubert Gutsa.
The Best Dressed Lady, went to Camilla Beazley, who will be jetted off to London in August, to attend Glorious Goodwood, one of the world’s most famous horseracing events.
With so many stylish ensembles around, it was a challenge to select the ultimate winners but the judging panel- including last year’s Best Dressed Lady and Gentleman, Naledi Mabuse and Jorge Movavo, LQP 2015 Best Dressed Man, Reggie Ansah, and founder of Fashion at the Races, Bri Mott, proved equal to the task.
“The growth and success of the first LQP Festival cemented its place as one of the world’s top horseracing events. We look forward to taking the festival to even greater heights in 2018“, says Katherine Gray.