10 fun facts about Cape Town’s top horserace: the J&B Met

1. The oldest horse race in the country, the Metropolitan Mile, was originally run on the Green Point Common. The jockeys were English soldiers attached to the Cape Garrison.

2. Only one horse has won the J&B Met three years in a row. Pocket Power, trained by Mike Bass, won the J&B Met in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Prior to that, the record was held by Politician, a horse trained by Syd Laird that won the J&B Met in 1978 and 1979.

3. Kenilworth Racecourse, where the J&B Met is run, is unique in that it has three racetracks that all finish in front of the grandstands with one pull-up area. The racecourse is also situated on a 52-hectare nature reserve that is home to the most preserved section of Cape Flats Sand Fynbos in the world and hundreds of fauna species, including 20 on the endangered list.

4. The event has been postponed twice — once in 1986 due to equine flu, and once in 2004 as a result of African Horse Sickness.

5. J&B has been sponsoring the J&B Met since 1977. At first glance, 39 years may not seem like all that much, but this is actually the longest running sports sponsorship in the world!

6. The J&B Met packs quite an economic punch. Wesgro, the official destination marketing, investment and trade promotion agency for the Western Cape, estimated that the economic impact of the 2013 J&B Met for the City of Cape Town and the region was a whopping R68 million.

7. Over 300 different stores in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban get involved in promotional displays for the J&B Met. The event gives the South African fashion industry a big boost in what is traditionally one of its quietest months. Many South African designers dedicate entire ranges to the J&B Met.

8. Every Met Day each of the grooms at the Kenilworth Racecourse is given a special J&B Met overall, which is worn with pride for the rest of the year.

9. The numbers are superlative: the J&B Met attracts up to 50 000 guests, who arrive in approximately 20 000 vehicles. The J&B Met Hospitality Village provides over 2 500 guests with lunch and dinner.

10. In 2002, the gates were closed halfway through the afternoon and ‘house full’ signs were put up because no more people could safely be admitted to the venue.

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10 easy steps to use Uber

1. Visit www.uber.com and sign up for an account or download the Uber app on your smartphone.

2. Fill out Uber’s member form with your name, mobile number, email address and billing information (credit card or VCPay).

3 .Read the terms and conditions (wink wink) and know what you’re getting yourself into. No really, read it.

4. Once you click the “Sign Up” button, you’ll be sent an email to confirm your information and activate the account.

Whew. You’ve done the hardest part — it’s all smooth sailing from here. To request a ride, first select the type of ride you’d like:

– UberX: an everyday car (the cheapest option) for up to four people

– UberBLACK: Uber’s original service delivers a high-end sedan for up to four

– UberXL vehicles for larger groups up to 6 people.

5 .Next, enter your pickup address (or use a pin to mark the spot) and hit the “Set Pickup Location” button. Confirm your payment details are correct and watch your designated driver approach via GPS. A fare estimator tells you how much you can expect to pay.

6 .Be ready and waiting for your driver as he or she arrives — there’ll be a number you can call if you need to give them any special instructions. Moving to another spot creates confusion. If there are no Uber drivers available, try again in a couple of minutes.

7. If you need to cancel your reservation, do it quickly — your card will be charged if you wait more than five minutes.

8. Hop in and head to your destination.

9. While the Uber sign-up process is fairly seamless, we recommend doing it before you head out for a night on the town so you’re not trying to input billing info when it’s 02h00 and you’re balancing your phone and a drink in your hands.

10. Be sure to rate your driver with five stars if you’re happy with the service. Remember: a four-star rating or less will damage your driver’s reputation and he or she may not be allowed to drive for Uber again in future.

Find out more about how Uber works here

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10 perfect pizzas in Cape Town!

If you don’t mind the anonymity of a chain restaurant, Col’Cacchio is easily the best choice. Famed for their super thin bases and generous toppings you’ll find the brand across the city, but the branch in Camps Bay dishes up lovely seaside views for free.

In Granger Bay near the V&A Waterfront, The Grand also boasts sea views, and the salmon and rocket pizzas are excellent, if expensive.

Up the road at Posticino in Sea Point the focus is on great value balanced by quality pizzas. This place buzzes with locals almost every night of the week, so get there early to bag a table.

The same goes for Bocca in the city centre. They don’t take reservations, but their Neapolitan-style pizzas are so delicious even impatient locals will wait in line for a table.

If you don’t fancy waiting, try Bardelli’s in trendy Kloof Street where the tables in the small courtyard are prime property.

In Hout Bay, Massimo’s has developed a cult following for its authentic Italian pizzas. With a small playground out front it’s a great option for families who want both a relaxed environment and great food.

The same goes for Borruso’s in the leafy suburb of Kenilworth: this unassuming pizza restaurant attracts hordes of locals with its good value thin base pizzas that come flying out of the wood-fired oven each evening. It’s wildly popular; if you’re not there by 7pm you’ll be waiting in the courtyard for a table.

On the False Bay coastline, Satori does wonderful wood-fired pizzas in a trattoria-style restaurant.

You won’t be denied your slice out in the winelands beyond Cape Town either.

The delightful tasting room and restaurant at Mulderbosch is popular with locals for its thin base pizzas, where parents can tuck in while the kids run riot at the nearby playground. In Somerset West, stop in at The Millhouse Kitchen on Lourensford Estate where you’ll also find the trinity of great pizza, good wine and plenty of space for the family to spread out.

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10 incredible dive spots in South Africa: beginner to pro

Need a place to start? Try Aliwal Shoal off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Regularly rated as one of the top 10 dive sites on the planet, this remarkable spot has something for everyone, from The Pinnacles (at just 15 metres) for the novice to the wreck of The Nebo in a more challenging 30 metres of water.

Speaking of challenging: Protea Banks is one for advanced divers looking for excitement. Plunging down to 40 metres, this site is famous for its sharks: expect to find Zambezi, Tiger, Hammerhead, Dusky, Ragged Tooth and Black Tip sharks hunting on the Banks. If you’re lucky you may spot manta rays and whales cruising past. It’s a deep dive with a strong current, so it’s for experienced adventure divers only.

Sodwana Bay is more forgiving, and home to the southernmost coral reefs in the world. The pristine coral teems with a huge variety of marine life and, if you’re lucky, you could spot turtles, dolphins or even a whale shark.

Sharks of a different sort are the drawcard at Gansbaai, just two hours’ drive from Cape Town. Billed as the Great White Shark capital of the world, the 60 000 seals resident on Dyer Island and Geyser Rock just offshore from Gansbaai draw in these impressive Apex Predators. There are a number of cage-dive operators in Gansbaai, but White Shark Projects is one of the best. In False Bay, closer to Cape Town, Apex Predators offers responsible cage-diving excursions.

If you’re feeling brave, you can leave the cage behind and roll into the warm(ish) False Bay waters in just a wetsuit. Experienced divers should hop on a charter boat and head for the wrecks of Smitswinkel Bay. The five ships scuttled here were sunk in the 1970s to form an artificial reef, and are today covered with marine life.

Not far from “Smits”, A-Frame and Windmill beach are great options for novice divers. Easy shore entries and shallow waters allow you to relax and search for the resident dogfish and pyjama sharks. Close by, the dives with seven-gill cow sharks are also memorable.

If you’re feeling brave Whittle Rock in the middle of False Bay is an outstanding site, but is also popular with great white sharks so a quick descent is essential!

In the summer months you’ll want to dive on the icy Atlantic side of Cape Town, where the prevailing south-easterly wind ensures crystal-clear waters. Add a dash of glamour to a day of diving by suiting up at Justin’s Caves, an underwater playground of jumbled granite. The 12 Apostles Hotel across the road is perfect for an after-dive drink.

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