L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and FMM

L’Ormarins has confirmed that the country’s year-opening horse racing event, the Queen’s Plate Racing Festival, will take place on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 January 2021. It will be a landmark event in more ways than one – 2021 not only marks the 160th running of South Africa’s premier weight-for-age mile-long race, but will also see the festival conducted under COVID-19 protocols, with no spectators permitted on the Kenilworth race course. First held in 1861, the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate remains as one of the oldest and most prestigious horse races in South Africa and a trophy that everyone aspires to have in their cabinet.

The corona virus may have brought unexpected challenges, but in its wake has come unexpected innovation, creative thinking and a renewed sense of determination and community spirit: all these elements will be harnessed to make the 2021 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate an event to remember. The usual stars of the show will all still be there, along with the celebration of tradition and, above all, sportsmanship that make the Queen’s Plate one of the best horse racing experiences in the world. The Festival gets under way on Friday afternoon with an 8-race programme, while on the Saturday the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate is the undisputed jewel of Saturday’s 10-race line-up that includes one sponsored by FMM.

As usual, FMM will be physically involved in the occasion, this year with a virus-induced difference. Displays of cars in keeping with the Queen’s Plate traditional colour scheme of blue and white will be at both Kenilworth and FMM. The 1953 BMW Isetta and 1950 Chevrolet Deluxe will be seen at the racecourse; while a further 22 cars will be used for a themed weekend at L’Ormarins. Some will be on display around the Terra del Capo Tasting Room with the remainder used for a static and a running display at FMM, including shuttling guests to and from the tasting rooms and the museum. The actual horse racing will be shown on screens while guests wander around the collection. For tickets to this uniquely-themed weekend, logon to www.fmm.co.za.

The balance of cars that will be seen comprises 1915 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, 1922 Isotta Fraschini, 1925 Brescia Bugatti, 1928 Ford Model A, 1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom I, 1932 Chevrolet Coupe, 1934 Mercedes-Benz W21, 1934 Ford Tudor Coupe, 1934 Ford Phaeton, 1936 Auburn Supercharged, 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K, 1953 Bristol, 1953 Morgan Plus 4, 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1957 Ford Country SW, 1958 MG A, 1959 BMW 501, 1960 Alfa Romeo Touring, 1963 GSM Dart, 1965 Ford Mustang, 1968 Mazda Cosmo Sport and 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5.

The Festival has always celebrated sporting excellence in the company of great friends with the best the Cape has to offer in food, wines and entertainment. While the on-course experience will not be available to the general public for 2021, the L’Ormarins team will be channelling its efforts into the TV broadcast to ensure everyone has a front row seat. Katherine Gray, co-ordinator of LQP 2021, says, “We always take pride in delivering something fresh and creative, and this year more than most, L’Ormarins is committed to delivering an event to remember.”

For information on the race card, logon to https://www.lqp.co.za/event-information/programmes-of-events/