South Africa’s newest lady trainer, the Vaal–based Ashley Fortune, saved her best for last on Champions Day, saddling her first career winner in fairytale fashion, in what was probably the most popular result on the big day.
Ashley’s stepson Aldo Domeyer did the riding honours with a clever end-to-end display of tactical thinking in the R500 000 Gr3 Gold Bowl over 3200m at the testing Turffontein track on the well-related Let It Rain, who races in the familiar royal blue and silver silks of top owner, Hassen Adams.
The wife of former SA Champion Andrew Fortune, Ashley was dressed for the moment and made it a day to remember for one of South African racing’s best-loved families.
In an emotional return to the winner’s enclosure, the crowd cheered and clapped as her charismatic husband Andrew waved his fist in triumph.
“What a moment. What a day. My son rides my wife’s first winner! And it’s a Gr3! This is a memory we will cherish forever and nobody can take it away from us,” Andrew told the Sporting Post.
Now a winner of 7 races with 11 places from 30 starts and stakes of R1 230 388, the 5yo gelding was a R1,3 million Cape Premier Yearling Sale purchase and was bred by Highlands.
He is by Dynasty (Fort Wood) out of the one-time winning Gardener’s Delight (Giant’s Causeway).