Ashley Fortune has some ambitious plans for Invidia who made amends for last time’s disappointing run to storm home in the R5 million CTS 1200 last Saturday and give owner Mario Ferreira a R2.5 million payday.
“I am going to take him back to Johannesburg and go for some of the big sprints, perhaps the Computaform (May 2),” she said before reflecting on the horse’s third to Pure State in the CTS Ready To Run. “It may have been a bit far for him – the whole family are five and six furlong horses – but also I don’t think he was as well then as he is now. But this was my first winner in Cape Town and what a way to break the ice.”
She and her husband were intent on celebrating. She used her teeth to speed up the removal of the gold foil from the proffered bottle of champagne before Andrew grabbed hold of it, shook it powerfully and sprayed everyone within reach like Lewis Hamilton.
Fortune proved a powerful draw on the victory rostrum and when he moved to join Deez Daganand at the microphone the crowd surged forward in expectation of entertainment. They weren’t disappointed because the somewhat one-sided interview proved to be pure theatre. Fortune didn’t need questions, he already knew what he was going to say and the words poured forth as readily as the champagne. His choice of words might have broken many of the conventions of political correctness (and doubtless horrified some people) but Fortune spoke from the heart, leaving no-one in any doubt about just what victory in such a valuable race meant to him and the crowd roared their appreciation.
television cameras had already switched to events elsewhere. Fortune’s
excitement and enthusiasm would have provided a wonderful advertisement and
certainly a far more powerful one than all the normal material that the
operators use to try to attract custom.
Aldo Domeyer, who rode Invidia and made it a day to remember by winning the Bidvest Majorca and the Cape Flying as well, summed up his take on all the success by saying: “Have a bit of faith and these things can happen.”
Domeyer is a deeply religious man and in the days leading up to his win on Silver Mountain in the 2015 Cape Fillies Guineas he prayed for the Good Lord to calm his nerves which were threatening to get the better of him. Even today he crosses himself every time he rides into the winner’s box and he revealed some of the background to this after Russett Air’s victory, saying: “I would like to dedicate this win to my Gran who died recently. She said ‘Keep making the sign of the cross.’”
Plans for Count Jack, the Jackson colt who won the R5 million CTS 1600, are dependent on what the handicapper does to him. Brett Crawford is under no illusions -“He has now won four out of six so he is going to get a pounding.”
The Big Five Syndicate has made a handsome profit on the horse’s R250 000 purchase price and includes Irish bloodstock agents Ross Doyle and Mick Flanagan who used to work for Mike de Kock.
Varsfontein homebred Erik The Red, who made much of the running to give Justin Snaith his first success in the Met day two-year-old race for four years (he had won it five times on the trot before that), is to be entered for the Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion at Scottsville on May 30.
Snaith said: “I had done as little as possible with him, and there were no grass gallops, because I believe that horses of his size should not be going that fast so early in their careers.
“I am going to consider the Scottsville race but, if I have any doubts, I will pull him out as the race has proved to be the end for many horses.”
Silver Host got into the City Of Cape Town Politician with second bottom weight and so he is going to find it much tougher in the Cape Derby on Saturday fortnight. Indeed CTS 1600 runner-up Sachdev looks a more likely candidate to give the stable its fourth success in the Grade 1 ten furlong.
But the trainer said: “Silver Host is a horse with a lot of potential and I kept him away from several races because I knew the handicappers were itching to get at him. He will be one of the big runners in the Derby.”
By Michael Clower