WATCH | A day at the races + 2020's horse racing lineup so you can start prepping your outfit

2020-01-13 16:45 - Gabi Zietsman
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The pomp, the horses, the sparkling wine and the hats - a day at the races is like a step into the playground of the rich for a day.

The L'Ormarins Queen's Plate Racing Festival took the Kenilworth Racecourse by storm over the weekend in Cape Town, awash in blue, white and big winnings. 

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woman posing for photo at racing festival in kenil

Posing in front of the iconic LQP letters. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

While watching horses that probably cost as much as your yearly income sounds like a one-percenter experience, the cost of basic tickets makes it more affordable to pretend you're living the high life for a short while.

The event consists of a few races leading up to the star of the show - the Queen's Plate - that brings together the best horses and jockeys in South Africa. 

'Faultless' horse Hawwaam was a favourite to win, but the glory went to Vardy and his jockey Craig Zackey with a surprising win from out of nowhere.

Off the racecourse, another competition heated up - the coveted Best Dressed and Best Hat competitions. The Best Dressed woman - Roxy Joubert - won a five-day trip for two to the United Kingdom, as well as two tickets to the L’Ormarins Luncheon at the Qatar Glorious Goodwood Racing Festival in July 2020.  

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winners of best dressed queen's plate racing festi

From left, Zinzi Ntoyiwa (for Best Hat), Roxy Joubert (for Best Dressed Woman) and Charles Samuels (for Best Dressed Man).

Never been to a race? Here's what you should know

If you've always drooled over the social media posts of a luxe horse-racing event but never been, there are a few things to know.

Dress up. This is the type of event where you stick to the dress code, and with prizes up for grabs you can let your inner creativity flow onto your body, but try to plan your outfit well in advance - and don't forget the hat!

Bet with money that you've already written off. Don't go into betting thinking you'll make money - it's fun to put down a R50 just to feel like you have a stake in the race, but don't go and bet your month's salary on a 'sure thing'.

man walking into betting centre at kenilworth race

(Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

Get a spot near the winning post 15 minutes before the race. Races are done in a flash, and there's normally a lot of waiting around in between, so for a good view grab your spot a bit beforehand to see if your horse gets you a designer new hat for the next racing event.

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woman standing next to race course

(Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

The Big 3 races of SA

These are the top races of the year in South Africa, so see which one works for you and start prepping your outfit!

Sun Met

Date: 1 February

Venue: Kenilworth Racecourse, Cape Town

Basic ticket price: R200

Grand winning prize: R3 million

READ: From Cape Town to Madagascar: The top African festivals and events to plan around in 2020 

Durban July

Date: 3 - 6 July

Venue: Greyville Racecourse

Basic ticket price: TBC, last year's tickets cost R220.

Grand winning prize: R2.5 million

SEE: Durban was just voted the greenest city in the world

Gauteng Summer Cup

Date: TBC, but plan for a date around November.

Venue: Turffontein

Basic ticket price: R85 - R350

Grand winning prize: R2 million

READ: 48 Hours in Gauteng: Discover the riches of the province of gold

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