IT’s not often that the sport of kings finds a real-life, fairy-tale princess in the crowds – especially in Johannesburg. But that is exactly what racegoers will experience on 13 April at the Royal Race Day at Turffontein.
Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco has confirmed her attendance – promising that the Royal Race Day will be the social event of the year.
“This really is a magnificent coup for racing,” said Phumelela Racing Executive Clyde Basel.
“Surely there can be no better reason to don a top hat and head to Turffontein than the promise of meeting South Africa’s most beloved Princess.”
With a top hat and tails dress code, the Royal Race Day promises to be the most elegant affair on the racing calendar. Add to that the red and white colour palette chosen for the day, and free entrance for the public, it will undoubtedly be a picture-perfect, grand royal affair.
The Royal Race Day is an annual event held in honour of Princess Charlene at the Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg and as always it will feature a very strong charity component focusing on children.
As part of the festivities on the Royal Race Day, learners from Gugulesizwe Primary School and Lesabe Primary School from Benoni will be attending the race day together with learners from a number of schools from the Turffontein area.
The children will be hosted for the day and will be the main group to welcome Princess Charlene on her arrival.
Free entertainment on offer for all children at the race day include a demarcated area with jumping castles and other activities, a jungle gym in the piazza area, a farrier demonstrating live hot-shoeing, and a puppet or magic show.
“The Royal Race Day is very much a family day,” said Basel. “Children are at the heart of the Princess’ foundation and we therefore urge families to come and celebrate the day with us.
“The Cinderella horse drawn carriage as well as pony rides will make for unique photo opportunities.”
As far as the racing is concerned, the headline race on the day is the Grade 1 HSH Princess Charlene Empress Cub Stakes for fillies and mares over 1600m with total stakes of R1,000,000.
Two Maiden Plates, of which one is for fillies and mares only, with total stakes of R250,000 each and sponsored by Princess Charlene of Monaco, serve as supporting acts. These races carry huge prize money considering the runners are maidens, having never won a race, but it’s become customary in recognition of the Princess’s well-documented support for what is usually considered the underdog.