Fortune Catches a Wave

Fortune breaks the ice on the island

Andrew Fortune

Andrew Fortune

South African horse-racing’s prodigal son opened his Mauritius account in dazzling style at the Champ de Mars on Saturday when he booted home a smart double. It was only a matter of time before jockey Andrew Fortune was going to get the ball rolling and the charismatic Capetonian has quickly built a big following amongst the racing crazy locals.

The enigmatically brilliant Fortune arrived in Mauritius in September to ride for the Ricky Maingard yard, and has taken a short while to settle down. But he was visibly thrilled on Saturday as he opened his local account when winning the third race on the Cheveley Stud bred Tamburlaine gelding Tube Wave, appropriately trained by Ricky Maingard.

Formerly owned by Matt Henderson and trained by Dolfie Maeder in the Cape, Tube Wave was sporting blinkers for the first time, and raced in midfield along the inside rail. In the home straight, he asserted his authority to win smoothly from the pacesetter Even Chance (Ségeon). Mathafa (Juglall), who jumped well, finished third n front of Hills Of Rome (Neisius).

Fortune registered his double in a tight finish to the day’s low key main race, run over 2050m, with the former Alyson Wright runner Code Rock with Mark Neisius up refusing to give an inch. Fortune rode the former Jooste owned Rudi Rocks who stormed up late as the two went head to head in a thriller. The photo finish could not separate them.

Fortune incurred the wrath of the no nonsense local Racing Stewards recently at the 32nd meeting of the season when he picked up a two week suspension and was fined Rs 25 000, for not having ridden the horse Count Emmanuale to the Stewards’ satisfaction. Jockey Mark Neisius, who like Fortune, also hails from the Cape, and who deadheated with him in the feature on Saturday, posted the following comment on the African Betting Clan on Sunday:

“The public had a good laugh yesterday. The man missed his calling in life and should have been a stand up comic. We dead heated in the main race and it was impossible to keep a straight face during the post race interview. He said on television that he felt sorry for me in the finish, as I have two young kids. So I reminded him that he has five! All in all, he is enjoying the Island and has blown some fresh air into the jockey room. The locals love him!”

The field for the fourth and final classic race of the Mauritius season, The Banque des Mascareignes Gr1 Duke Of York Cup to be run at WFA over 1600m on Sunday 27 October has been announced.

The field is shown with trainer abbreviation and draw:

1. Ice Axe (RM) – 11
2. Intercontinental (GR) – 3
3. Tales Of Bravery (RM) – 9
4. Polar Bound (RG) – 2
5. Vettel (G) – 1
6. Liquid Motion (PM) – 4
7. Seattle Ice (SH) – 5
8. Tandragee (G) – 6
9. Soweto Slew (G) – 8
10. Elusive River (FK) – 10
11. Seeking Angelo (GR) – 7

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