​Once an also-ran, Elusive Fortune has blossomed!

​Once an also-ran, Elusive Fortune has blossomed!

January 10, 2021 / 6 months ago

​Once an also-ran, Elusive Fortune has blossomed!  cover image
Elusive Fortune (far side), game win. (Wayne Marks).

Grant van Niekerk rode a peach of a race on five-year-old mare Elusive Fortune to win Friday’s Listed Ardmore Jamaica Handicap over 1800m at Kenilworth after a 300m battle with Sleeping Single, her stablemate.

This race was arguably the highlight of the first day of the 2021 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival - racing fans were treated to a terrific display of jockeyship.

Van Niekerk sent Elusive Fortune (21-4), out to make the clip at a steady tempo. She brought the field for home, quickened clear by two but was then reeled in by both Sleeping Single and Catchafallingstar going into the last 300m.

“They went a length past me,” said Van Niekerk, who kept calm and notably didn’t overuse his whip. “I thought we we’re beaten, but then she fought on. She ran her heart out. She always gives of her best when I ride her. She got up, she made me look good. Well done to the Snaith stable.”

Trainer Justin Snaith praised Van Niekerk, who is four from five on Elusive Fortune, saying: “Credit to Grant, they really get on well.”

He added: “We are very pleased for owners Pam and Neville Isdell, who are based in Barbardos and got to see their horse race in South Africa for the first time today, the live streaming will be good for other stables with overseas clients too.

“Elusive Fortune was a battling one-time winner early in her career, but Pam wanted to persist with her and it’s incredible that here we are, seven wins including a Listed race, later. Well done them!”

Elusive Fortune is a graduate of the 2017 CTS Cape March Yearling Sale where she was bought for just R40,000. Bred by Favour Stud, she’s a daughter of Elusive Fort and Muhtaram (Al Mufti), with R356,000 in stake earnings.