Cape Town - Well-dressed guests held on to their hats as a chopper, signalling the grand entrance of Olympic athlete Usain Bolt, touched down at the 134th edition of the Sun Met horseracing event at the Kenilworth Racecourse, in Cape Town, on Saturday.
Bolt was there in his capacity as Champagne producer GH Mumm’s newly appointed “chief entertainment officer”.
He gave a brief interview to TV personality Minnie Dlamini on a stage before popping Champagne for the cameras in the media pit below.
“It’s so good to be here in your beautiful country. The energy so far has been great,” he told journalists and the cheering crowd.
Among the attendees at the premium horseracing event – which attracts 25 000 guests a year – was former Miss South Africa and Miss World Rolene Strauss and current Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.
Dressed in a stunning white beaded Gert-Johan Coetzee gown, Nel-Peters chatted to City Press on the red carpet.
“I’ve been back from New York for two months and it’s just been a whirlwind of travelling and getting used to jetlag.
"And it’s so great being back home in the summer weather. I’m excited to watch the races today and I’m rooting for African Night Sky.”
Other guests included Mafikizolo’s Nhlanhla Nciza in a baby blue ensemble, rapper Anatii and everybody’s favourite hip-hop couple – TV personality Luthando “LootLove” Shosha and rapper Sizwe “Reason” Moeketsi – and Somizi.
Somizi snubbed the press saying: “I’m tired, I’m not working, I’m not doing any interviews.”
He later did interviews though, in the GM Mumm tent, for his entertainment show.
Unlike the scorching L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate earlier this month, the Met was windy, and dry Cape Town grass flew around.
As one of the most prestigious events on the local calendar, the Sun Met is not as huge as the Vodacom Durban July.
There are fewer marquees and the most expensive ticket cost a mere R4 495. This was for the circa winning post pavilion marquee.
It offered full-service catering, cocktail lounge seating, complimentary bar (excluding Champagne) and access to the afterparty.
Last year, Sun International and GM Mumm took over sponsorship of the Sun Met after headline sponsors J&B pulled out.
This year’s theme, Style ahead of the Field, encouraged racegoers to wear lots of colour and African prints to embrace their cultures.
The theme gave punters plenty of scope to explore modern twists on African fashion.
Dlamini was dressed in a flaming red Coetzee dress.
The designer previously told City Press that she would bring out “the African goddess and the African diamond” in her blood.
For the party animals, there was an afterparty presented by Guess with DJ Kent and DJ Zinhle lined up to hit the decks.
The night ended with a performance by Mi Casa.
The Sun Met was not only about the pricey frocks, but also about the cold, hard cash.
This year the prize money was doubled to R5 million.