2021 The Sun Met Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips

Date: Saturday January 22, 2021
Track: Kenilworth
Distance: 2000m
Class: Grade 1
Race Type: Handicap
Prize money: $182,500
Age: 3YO+

One of South Africa’s biggest races, The Sun Met (formerly known as the J & B Met) is run every January at Grade 1 level.

Held at Kenilworth in Cape Town, The Sun Met attracts huge numbers on course and it’s known as a showcase of South African racing at its best.

South Africa’s best middle-distance thoroughbreds do battle in one of the most exciting races anywhere in the world.

The Sun Met betting selections and tips

We will have expert tips for The Sun Met available when the final-field markets are released by bookmakers.

2021 Sun Met betting card

There is a whopping 13 races on The Sun Met card, including grade racing throughout the day.

The Sun Met is race #9 on the card, which also includes the Majorca Stakes and the Investec Cape Derby.

  • Race 1: South African Hall of Fame R84 Handicap
  • Race 2: Summer Juvenile Stakes
  • Race 3: Kuda Sprint
  • Race 4: CTS 1200
  • Race 5: CTS 1600
  • Race 6: Cape Flying Championship
  • Race 7: Investec Cape Derby
  • Race 8: Majorca Stakes
  • Race 9: The Sun Met
  • Race 10: Heineken Cape Stayers
  • Race 11: Cell C Handicap
  • Race 12: Mumm Bolt Handicap
  • Race 13: FM 80 Handicap

The Sun Met history

The first Sun Met was run in 1883 when raced under the name of the Metropolitan Mile. It was taken out by Sir Hercules and although the race wasn’t overly popular in the early 1900’s, it has been a staple of South African racing since the 1960’s. 

Boosting the popularity of the race was South African champion, Politician, which was the Phar Lap of South African racing. The chestnut cruised to a 3.25-length victory in 1979 and the massive crowed was delighted with the result.

Politician would create history a year later when winning the Sun Met in incredible fashion, cementing his legacy at Kenilworth. The Syd Laird-trained runner pushed his way through runners to run down filly Festive Season. Pocket Power would be the next horse to win back-to-back Sun Met’s in 2008 and would later add a third consecutive win in 2009.

The Sun Met has become one of the social events of the South African racing calendar. With two other Grade 1 races on the card, it’s a big occasion for not only the racing public, but also those looking to enjoy racing for the first time.

Some of the best thoroughbreds have won The Sun Met, including Politician, Divine Master, Wolf Power and Horse Chestnut.

When J & B stepped away from the sponsorship, Sun International came in and raised the prize money to R5 million, making it the richest race in South Africa.

Sun Met betting guide

Betting on The Sun Met is widely popular in South African and most of the big betting nations around the world. A big field is always presented and due to this, the odds on offer are generous from bookmakers. 

Similar to the Melbourne Cup in Australia, The Sun Met offers punters with great each-way value. That was evident in 2018 when Oh Susanna won as a 7.00 chance. The Australian-bred filly by Street Cry hailed from the powerful Justin Snaith stables and she would win again her start following in the Woolavington 2000, franking the form of The Sun Met.

Punters will typically get good odds for any runner and there’s not typically a short-priced favourite in the market. This allows punters to get value odds in the wide-open field.

Betting on horses that draw low numbers in the barriers is preferred. With the track circumference of 2800m, drawing on the outside can significantly hinder a runners’ chances.

The Sun Met runs as one of the main lead-up races to the Durban July Handicap.

Recent Sun Met Winners

2018Oh Susanna
2017Whiskey Baron
2016Smart Call
2014Hill Fifty Four
2013Marital Eagle
2011Past Master
2010River Jetez
2009Pocket Power
2008Pocket Power
2007Pocket Power
2006Zebra Crossing
2002Polo Classic
2001Bunter Barlow
2000Badger's Coast
1999Horse Chestnut