Glamorous Queen’s Plate
Pocket Power is the horse to watch as jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe tries to bring the fab steed home ahead of the field today
T ODAY Cape Town’s socialites, celebrities, movers and shakers converge on Kenilworth race course for the 149th running of the prestigious Queen’s Plate.
Now sponsored by L’Ormarins to the tune of a million bucks, it’s a stylish and elegant afternoon of ladies and gentlemen dressed in the signature blue and white of the event, fine wines, delicious canapés, vintage cars, top class musical entertainment from the likes of Goldfish and Just Jinjer, and sleek and shiny thoroughbred horseflesh.
For all that, however, today is even more auspicious in that all eyes are going to be on champion race horse Pocket Power, who has already achieved the unthinkable in that he is the only horse to have romped to victory in this race a record-breaking three times, not to mention a string of other highstakes races like the J&B Met and the Durban July. Today will be his fourth attempt to win the Queen’s Plate, and now that the work of trainer Mike Bass is done, the man in whose hands that fate lies is jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe.
Durban-born Fayd’Herbe has a pedigree as fine as Pocket Power’s (who was sired by Jetmaster, himself a double Queen’s Plate winner); he is the grandson of the famous jockey Tiger Wright and at 28 has already enjoyed a successful international career in the saddle.
“I have travelled and ridden in Hong Kong, Macau and Dubai – where I finished third in the world cup,” says Fayd’Herbe.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to pilot Pocket Power to most of his victories. The three wins in succession have already made the history books and this year would be an extraordinary phenomenon. We have developed an affinity over the years and understand each other very well when the gates open on race day.”
Based in KwaZulu-Natal for the winter racing season, and in Cape Town in summer, Fayd’Herbe says Clifton is one of his favourite spots where he likes to spend a lot of his spare time soaking up the sun. He also enjoys hiking and outdoor sports, but it’s not all about endless activity – the beautiful wine farms in the Cape also attract Fayd’Herbe.
When in Cape Town, he stays in Green Point, so he finds the V&A Waterfront convenient for dining and shopping: “My favourite restaurants are Balducci’s and Sevruga in the Waterfront. They are in a beautiful place, the food is great, the staff are very friendly and they’re nice social places to catch up with friends. I also enjoy shopping for clothing at the Waterfront. My favourite stores are Guess and Hugo Boss.”
When the sun dips into the Atlantic, you’re most likely to find Fayd’Herbe at the uber trendy Caprice and newly opened nightclub St Yves, both in Camps Bay. “These spots are just around the corner and not a long way to drive. Also, all my friends are on this side of town.” Let’s hope they’ll all be getting together for a raucous celebration later today.
PLACES TO BE TODAY: Jockey Bernard Fayd'Herbe, left, who will ride in the Queen’s Plate today, and Clifton, one of his favourite haunts in Cape Town.