No Stopping The Candyman On Comeback Trail

No spring chicken, but he can ride!

The National Horseracing Authority’s licencing committee is set to convene on Monday 22 April and will have an item on their agenda that is likely to test the racing regulator’s ability to act with impartiality, balance and fairness, to the limit.

Popular former SA Champion Jockey Andrew Fortune recently announced his return to the saddle.

The charismatic and massively talented rider’s comeback has been met with an overwhelming show of support and anticipation by the racing public, and he and his legal team should know more by sunset on Monday 22 April.

Andrew Fortune – no mountain too high for him! (Pic – Supplied)

The son of the Cape Flats, with his characteristic commitment, is determined to regain his licence and right to earn a living, after returning from Australia, where his wife and children currently reside.

While he is probably not everybody’s cuppa tea with his straightshooting personality, and has made his mistakes, picked up some serious pudding, and is certainly no spring chicken at 55, it is difficult seeing the NHA rejecting the Candyman’s relicensing on a whim, personal opinion, or a technicality.

Andrew Fortune has probably replaced Deryl Daniels, whom we once tagged, the ‘ultimate comeback kid’.

Daniels returned after a six year absence at the age of 46 in 2023, and is riding his winners.

Piere Strydom is two years older than Andrew Fortune and is still riding winners. Looking back, Stanley Amos rode well into his sixties, Karl Neisius retired in his late 50’s, and there are many cases to show that age is relative to the individual.

While some may not have thought it possible, the 2024 Andrew Fortune is a mellowed and mature 55 year old, with all of his addiction issues spawned on the mean streets of his turbulent youth in Elsies River, now well behind him.

A representative of his legal team told the Sporting Post that Fortune has undergone all medical and other due diligence, has insurance in place, a sponsorship, as well as a written commitment from a variety of trainers, and that they were very hopeful of a positive outcome, to open the way for their client to earn a living in the only profession in which he is qualified.

A trim, healthy and massively talented rider, Andrew Fortune has ridden demons to sleep – demons that most of us will never meet in our lives.

Hopefully sanity will prevail and he will be given an opportunity to showcase his talents.

This is what a few of our readers said recently in reaction to the news of Andrew Fortune’s imminent return:

Grant Hundley -Andrew was and still is, one of the greatest jocks around. World class. It would be an absolute disgrace if the NHA does not grant him his license.

Dane Martin –  We had the privilege of catching up with him early this morning during work riding and I can confirm that he is still as funny and naughty as before, looks trim, and there certainly looks as if there is still a lot of fight left in the old dog. Welcome back Andrew.

Derek Nassif – Well he doesn’t have to be in his good old days to ride with the lot that is riding now – and he is going to give them lessons on how it’s done. Extra candy for the Candy Man.

Michael Erasmus – Well done – by time guys take the lead and opportunities ahead.

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