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Celebrating A True Champion

Friday, 14 January 2022

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The news of RAINBOW BRIDGE’s sudden retirement from racing invoked a flood of emotions and tributes, writes Gary Lemke for GG Gaming.

Do you allow yourself to shed a tear in sadness, or do you see if you’ve got a bottle of bubbly left from the New Year’s celebrations and pop the cork? Ultimately I went, in vain, to look for that bottle of champers. A lot of the reports I read spoke of the sadness and regret at his retirement. I'd rather go for the bottle half full than half empty approach.

Racegoers, punters, and horse lovers should be celebrating the fact that we got to experience the best of RAINBOW BRIDGE in his racing years. Now aged seven, those injuries and niggles have caught up with him. Like they do with the very best athletes in the world. Just ask Roger Federer. When Father Time taps you on the shoulder you can’t turn back the clock.

A Horse Worth Celebrating

RAINBOW BRIDGE’s last run was in last week’s L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate. There he ran a game third behind the impressive JET DARK, but it continued a remarkable career of consistency.

In 26 career starts, RAINBOW BRIDGE won 11 times, including the prestigious Cape Met twice in the last three years. He is the reigning Equus Horse of the Year and he finished unplaced only twice in those 26 starts. Along the way, he picked up R8.2-million in stake money. That’s the stuff of fairy tales and stories like this don’t come around often. In fact, probably the closest horse he can be compared within the last 10 years of those who stuck around and raced in South Africa would be POCKET POWER.

Unfortunately, like POCKET POWER, RAINBOW BRIDGE will go into retirement to live out his days on the farm – ‘Pocket’ died last July at Hemel ’n Aarde – and he’ll be treated like royalty at Mary Slack’s Wilgebosdrift’s farm. Both ‘Rainbow’ and ‘Pocket’ were multiple Grade One winners but both were geldings, which meant they couldn’t go on to become stallions at stud.

However, RAINBOW BRIDGE’s dam (mother) will continue to be regarded as something of a phenomenon. She had three foals, RAINBOW BRIDGE, HAWWAAM, and GOLDEN DUCAT, and all won Grade One races. That’s an incredible and possibly unique bloodline.

While RAINBOW BRIDGE had been entered for the forthcoming Cape Met, his trainer Eric Sands decided to make the call. Or at least call the gelding’s owners and breeder and get their final decision as to continue racing him after he jarred his fore (right front) knee during last week’s Queen’s Plate.

“All good things must come to an end,” owner Mrs. Norma Rattray said.

RAINBOW BRIDGE had started his career in the blue and yellow colours of the late Chris Gerber, who died in October 2018, three months before his beloved galloper won his first Met in 2019. “I have a lot of people to thank,” said Eric Sands after that race, “most of all Chris Gerber, who will have been watching this. We left a gap for Chris on the podium photo, if it wasn’t for his patience with RAINBOW BRIDGE we may not have been here today.”

Asked then about RAINBOW BRIDGE’s temperament, Sands said: “He’s a piece of cake at home, you can put a baby in his box. It’s only when he gets on the float that he starts playing up.”

The ride has come to an end, but it’s not one that we should be mourning, Instead, we should be celebrating the fact that he will go down in history as one of South Africa’s finest racing sons.

News and Views

Entries for the 2022 Cape Met now available

Monday, 17 January 2022

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Entries for the 2022 Cape Met now available on Formgrids.

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Upturn in Cape Town's horse racing industry

Monday, 17 January 2022

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As Kenilworth prepares to host its most prestigious horse-racing event, the annual Cape Met on 29 January, there has been an upturn in the Mother City's horse racing industry.

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Celebrating A True Champion

Friday, 14 January 2022

Pic horse rainbow bridge 20220114 jpg

The news of RAINBOW BRIDGE’s sudden retirement from racing invoked a flood of emotions and tributes, writes Gary Lemke for GG Gaming.

Read the full article...
 

Entries for the Cape Met (so far)

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

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The Cape Met info:

Race type: Grade 1
Venue: Kenilworth
Surface: Turf
Date: Saturday, 29 January 2022

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Cape Town Met gets a new sponsor

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

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The 160th running of the R2 million Grade 1 Cape Town Met at Kenilworth on Saturday, 29 January 2022 has a new sponsor. The great event will now be sponsored by World Sports Betting. This is great news for racing and for the now famous Cape Met.

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JET DARK wins L'ORMARINS QUEEN'S PLATE

Saturday, 08 January 2022

JET DARK wins L'ORMARINS QUEEN'S PLATE.

Three in a row for Justin Snaith with JET DARK and S'Manga Khumalo who burst clear to claim back-to-back Queen's Plate victories!

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CAPTAIN'S RANSOM wins the Paddock Stakes

Saturday, 08 January 2022

CAPTAIN'S RANSOM had to dig deep to hold off some very classy fillies to win the Grade 1 Paddock Stakes, but Justin Snaith does it again teaming up with Richard Fourie - two races in a row!

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HOEDSPRUIT wins the Goodwood Premier Trophy

Saturday, 08 January 2022

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Royal Festival In The Sport Of Kings

Thursday, 06 January 2022

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There are 18 races contested over two days on Friday and Saturday at Kenilworth.

Friday’s eight-card meeting is an appetite for what’s to come on Saturday, although there is no shortage of high-class action, writes Gary Lemke for GG Gaming.

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The L'Ormarins Queen's Plate Festival

Thursday, 06 January 2022

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The running of the 161st Queen's Plate and the 6th year of the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate racing festival takes place on Friday, 7 and Saturday, 8 January.

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