More Good Fortune

Another Fortune steps up to the plate

Shadlee Fortune

Shadlee Fortune

The next generation of a famous family name in South African horseracing made a quiet debut at Clairwood on Sunday. 17yo apprentice jockey Shadlee Fortune is nephew to former SA Champion Andrew Fortune, and a cousin of top Cape rider, Aldo Domeyer.

Shadlee and his colleague Matthew Thackeray both completed successful opening rides in the tenth race at Clairwood, but in a typical glaring lack of attention to detail, the SA Jockey Academy website makes no mention of either youngster.

The racing authorities have long been called upon to ply the punting public with more relevant information, and while punters are exorted to support the quartet maxipool and other attractive bet options, they are effectively expected to do so with phantom elements in certain respects.

Shadlee hails from Kenilworth in Cape Town and while running unplaced on Greg and Karen Anthony’s Kings Gold in the 1200m sprint, his effort received a big thumps up from his famous uncle and supportive cousin. “The main goal in your first ride is focussing on staying on and completing the race. He did well in both respects and I actually saw him looking for a gap at one stage,” said a proud Uncle Andrew.

Aldo Domeyer said that he thought that his enthusiastic younger cousin would do very well and added rather modestly that he ‘reminds me a lot of myself.’ Talking to the Sporting Post from her Kenilworth home earlier this week, his proud Mom Tina, who is Andrew’s younger (but closest, she says) sister, said that her eldest son had decided at the age of six that he wanted to become a jockey.

“Andrew walked in one day after races and Shadlee looked up at him and said, that’s it!” Shadlee completed his junior schooling at Claremont Primary and then went on to SACS before leaving for the academy at the end of Standard 7. He completes his Matric next year.

Tina paid tribute to her husband Austin Coetzee who had made it possible for her son to follow his dream and always encouraged Shadlee to aim high and realise his ambitions. Shadlee has two younger brothers in Tiaan who is 13, and Dominic, who is just ten months old.

Tina said that she had been involved in racing herself for some time and understood the game well. “I used to do Andrew’s rides, as well as Tyron Langdon and Robert Khathi’s rides. I also supplied horse blankets to the trainers, so most people know us,” she said.

Tina said that Shadlee went to scale in the mid forties and thus had no weight issues. He was also a good sportsman and a fit young man. She said that she had never felt as proud as she did when watching her son ride on Sunday. “We phone each other every day and we are a very close family. For now, I have booked his ticket home for Christmas, and can’t wait to see him.”

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