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

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOOD TO GO - BIANCA COLE­MAN

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.

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