This is the 36th year that J&B has sponsored The Met. The theme "Made To Fly" was actually based around the idea of "Made To Succeed", which J&B felt they have done over and over again. The race used to be run on Green Point common; British soldiers attached to the Cape Garrison would race and the ladies in all their attire would watch and cheer them on. Although not British, the jockeys of the 2013 Met are certainly soldiers and many ladies were in their very best - and the cheering was mind-blowing.
Everyone needs to attend the J&B Met at least once (or five times) in their lifetime. I will warn you now it is not like the Royal Ascot scene from My Fair Lady, it is so much better. Of course, it is more exhilarating when you have stakes in a run, but you can't help but get caught up in the hype. With the extravagant outfits, the excitement buzzing through the air and wondering if you will be lucky enough to have the winning bet you cannot help but get caught up in it.
I will admit that I put a little bet on a horse (thinking I knew what I was talking about because my gran was a trainer), but alas I am not as knowledgeable as I'd like to think. So my loss put behind me it was over to the food tents where there was certainly no shortage of delicious nibbles. Thank you to J&B for ensuring that no one went thirsty in that sweltering Cape Town heat and to everyone who had a hand in making it such a fabulous day.
The big winner at the end of the day was a surprise to everyone: Martial Eagle ridden by Aldo Domeyer won The Met and, for both, it was their first win.
My tips for The Met are these: do not be scared to dress up because you may feel more left out if you don't. Take sunglasses, sunblock and an umbrella because it gets very hot and with the wind you don't really feel when it is getting too much. Try to go with a group of friends to enjoy it to the fullest and, if you can, try to spend the money to go into a lounge simply for the comfort. My final tip is to be prepared for an expensive day - if you want to bet, drink, eat and enjoy yourself it is going to make your pocket lighter.