Chuck Norris Stand Back – This Was A Great Escape!

Fairview Friday drama ends well

While Fairview on Friday was a rare frustrating second straight ‘blank’ racemeeting on the trot for SA Champion jockey elect Richard Fourie, the Cape Town based star will be considering it a winning day after he pulled off an Houdini like escape act to avoid a fall and possible injury in the first race on the card.

While not making light of the dangers of race-riding, after watching the Fourie horseback gymnastics on First Wish after the start, media man Andrew Bon quipped, ‘Chuck Norris wants to be Richard Fourie’ – and Bonski’s chirp is not far off the mark!

Watch the 7 gate in the replay clip:

The Stipes reported that on leaving the stalls, Richard Fourie’s right foot made contact with the front gate of the starting stalls.

This resulted in the recordbreaking rider losing his footing to his right-side stirrup iron, becoming severely unbalanced in the process, and his right elbow making contact with the hindquarters of Stallone Naidoo’s mount, Mitredat. As a consequence, Fourie was clearly severely unbalanced and the Alan Greeff-trained First Wish lost considerable ground for the first 200m until the top jcokey could regain his right-side iron.

Alan Greeff looks on as his team assist Richard Fourie with the unsaddling of First Wish after a harrowing experience that ended happily (Pic – Pauline Herman)

Thankfully there was no action by the Stipes, who reviewed the start and were satisfied that First Wish had not been impeded in any way.

Rerired champion jockey Gavin Venter, who saddled the winner Fredericos Passion on behalf of his ill partner Tara Laing, said that he had never seen a jockey recover like Fourie had, in ‘over fifty years in the game’.

Former jockey Vicky Minott summed it up well and added that it was ‘a brilliant show of athleticism, with luck thrown in’.

Richard Fourie doesn’t often leave Fairview without a winner, but his blank scorecard on the day would have been gratefully accepted in lieu of a great escape and avoiding injury in what is set to be the greatest winning season yet by a South African jockey.

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