Follow The Fortune On Saturday

Saturday 1 April at Turffontein

Almost a year after saddling her maiden Gr1 winner, Vaal trainer Ashley Fortune is ready to celebrate at the elite level again.

On Saturday she saddles nine runners at Turffontein on The Championships Day 3, and is looking forward to a good day at the office.

The Gr1 team – Ash, Ryan Munger and Good Council are ready for Saturday (Pic – JC Photos)


The 41 year old runs one of South Africa’s fastest growing yards and in her fifth year in one of the toughest jobs in the world, she is quietly building a powerful string by doing the basics right, with her ebullient former SA Champion Jockey hubby cum PR Officer Andrew at her side.

Last term Ash saddled her first Gr1 and first Gr2 winner and she has two decent candidates for similar success on Saturday. But has always operated by the maxim that maidens and Gr1’s are celebrated with equal fervour and appreciation.

In a catch up with the Sporting Post on Wednesday morning, Ash excitedly told us that her great team have stabilized and settled well and she wouldn’t give her Vaal yard up for Randjesfontein, or anywhere else.

“The Vaal has fantastic work tracks and lovely countryside which is much more natural for horses to be happy in. We are very happy here and, more importantly, so are our horses.”

On Saturday, The Championships provides a genuine chance for Ash to find out if her 3yo’s are as good as she believes they are.

Ashley Fortune welcomes her favourite Bard Of Avon – he is back to form and runs on Saturday (Pic – JC Photos)

“We really have some nice runners on Saturday. Generally we have swapped out some of the old blood for new and also have a really exciting bunch of 2 year olds. That’s always a positive!” she smiled broadly.

Ashley’s Listed Aquanaut Handicap winner Good Council, a solid staying son of Oratorio, lines up in the WSB Gr1 SA Derby at 15h15.

Good Council – proven stayer looking to step up to Gr1 test (Pic – JC Photos)

“Good Council has proven that he goes the trip, he is doing very well and I am expecting a huge run from him,” she says with confidence as the Avontuur-bred gelding steps back into his own age group after an eyecatching open company victory last start.

The very next race, Ash’s Rafeef filly Ipso Facto bids for a hat-trick when the smart daughter of Rafeef lines up in the Wilgerbosdrift Bridget Oppenheimer Gr2 Oaks. She won the Ormond Ferraris Listed Oaks Trial in grand style at her last start.

“Ipso Facto is maturing all the time and keeps getting better . Like Good Council, I am expecting a great run from her and again, Ryan (Munger) knows her well.”

Ipso Facto – massive runner in the Oaks (Pic -JC Photos)

Of the balance of her card, Ash was happy to provide a snapshot comment.

Mayor Of Merrivale  & Sagan run in the opener at 11h50:

“They are both nice maidens and should both be competitive.”

Bella Chica runs in the 3rd, the PA opener at 12h55:

“She is doing well at home, but it’s not an easy race. I feel that she can run into the back end of quartets.”

Bard Of Avon & Meridius run in the 4th, the Pick 6 opener at 13h30:

“My favourite boy is holding his form well again, although he has let us down before on the standside track. So just beware of that! Meridius is as honest as they come and doing well at home.”

Black Egret & Lil Miss Moneybags run in the final race at 17h50:

“Black Egret is still maturing. He is actually a big clumsy baby but always gives of his best. We have expected more from Lil Miss Moneybags. But she has won over the course and distance and we are hoping for a good run.”

On the overall racing picture, Ashley is happy that  Gauteng racing has improved from last season to the present, but she feels that they still have a fair way to go.

“The stakes last season were good but the winter stakes are less favourable. We are hoping that there will be a turnaround soon,” she adds.

On the next few months, Ash says she will be raiding the Champions Season on the East Coast as that works better for them than being there permanently.

“We will probably also send another string to Cape Town for their season. Cape Racing were incredibly accommodating and made brilliant efforts to encourage really exciting racing down there.”

And then there is also the all important restocking of the arsenal for the future. We asked if she had gotten a chance to look at the BSA National Yearling Sale catalogue.

Team Fortune at the recent Cape Premier Yearling Sale (Pic – Wayne Marks)

“Yes! It’s an exciting catalogue for nationals and we have a few very enthusiastic owners looking for the next big horse, so we will definitely sticking our hands up.  We are fortunate to have a couple of new owners joining the yard too. We will be there!” she enthused.

With transparency and enjoyment two Fortune Racing watchwords, Ash asked the public to look out for their new website which is to be launched this week.

“All of our stable information and news will be available on It’s all quite exciting and I hope Joe Public enjoy it.”

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