Married to the future! My predictions for the LÓrmarins King’s Plate, and Spurs, in 2024

The LÓrmarins King's Plate could witness See It Again proving himself as the best horse in the country.

As the clock ticks down on 2023 and we hurtle head-first into the happy holidays, rather than devoting this final article of the year to a ‘that was the year that was’ rhetoric, I’ve opted to marry my thoughts on what I would like to happen next year with what I believe will come to pass.

That is to say, of course I would love to win the lottery in 2024 and yet, at the risk of incurring wife-wrath for releasing negative thoughts into the universe, I don’t truly believe that I will.

Equally, whilst I would welcome an alternative winner of the English Premier League, I certainly won’t be backing against Pep Guardiola’s Man City putting a lackluster first half of the season behind them, finding their Blue Moon mojo and registering their sixth title from the last seven seasons.

The nature of horse racing is such that we won’t have to wait too long to get our 2024 adrenaline fix. For while marveling at the light blue colours of Manchester City might demand a degree of delayed gratification, those of Gaynor Rupert’s brand-LÓrmarins are guaranteed to deliver as early as Saturday 6 January.

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Earlier this week the first entries for the 163rd renewal of South Africa’s premier Grade 1 weight-for-age mile were published and they didn’t disappoint.

Last year’s giant slayer Al Muthana returns and the expected re-match from the Green Point stakes remains on the cards with trifecta horses See It Again, At My Command and local hero Charles Dickens, all nominated.

Whilst there is no Princess Calla, her absence is offset by Justin Snaith having nominated two three-year-old colts in the form of his Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas winner Snow Pilot and the third place finisher from that race Hluhluwe, who had beaten his stable companion in the Grade 2 Cape Punters Cup in November.

Need I remind you that in 2021 Justin Snaith conditioned the then three-year-old Jet Dark to win the race and in so doing he lowered the colours of Rainbow Bridge, Belgarion and Do It Again.

I was particularly pleased to see the presence of Gimme A Prince in the entries. Khaya Stables racing manager Jehan Malherbe had confirmed to me that this would be his next mission and the race quality will be further enhanced should he take his place on Saturday January 6.

Trained by maestro Dean Kannemeyer, Gimme A Prince is rated 130 and as such is only 2 points below See It Again and Charles Dickens. Of interest is that his merit rating is 6 points superior to that of Lady Laidlaw’s other horse, the Brett Crawford trained At My Command who split the former two in the Green Point finish.

The race itself will be unmissable but add to the showcase the Cape Racing renaissance born from the Bortz bounce and you’ve got an event at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth to rival any Group 1 race at any racetrack on the planet.

If I look into my 2024 crystal ball it’s telling me that the LÓrmarins King’s Plate will prove another stepping stone to See It Again going on to win the Cape Met in February and proving himself beyond doubt as the best horse in the country.

Whilst that would be the one half of the perfect marriage between what I would like to see and what I believe will happen, I’m praying that the other half doesn’t jilt us at the altar.

To complete the matrimony I need Tottenham to get themselves to the Champion’s League church on time.

I believe it’s possible.

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Despite my limited proficiency in math, I’m aware that 5 doesn’t go into 4 and that therefore I would need at least one of Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Aston Villa to drop out of the Premier League quartet.

That’s not to say I am completely ruling out Newcastle, Chelsea and even Manchester United performing their own footballing miracle and yet I’m still believing that in Big Ange Postecoglou Spurs have found a manager who can defy the odds.

I have seen enough Ange Ball to believe that the return in the new year of James Maddison, Micky van de Ven and Rodrigo Bentacur combined with the arrival of some much-needed squad depth during the January transfer window will set Spurs up for a concerted run at Champions League qualification.

Thus have I vowed my commitment to the See It Again Spurs marriage.

I take said union to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish as long as we all three shall live!

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