Andrew Fortune is carded to make a return to racing at Fairview on Friday after being benched by injury for about six weeks.
Fortune suffered a rib injury on 13 October at Turffontein when the horse he was riding fell in the starting stalls.
At that stage he was sitting comfortably atop the Jockeys’ log and at the rate he was riding winners, was on course to set all kinds of records.
During his absence a number of riders have in on his lead, with Greg Cheyne and Fortune now tied at the top with 57 winners each.
Fortune has four rides on the card, with his best chance of getting back into winning ways seeming to come in Race 6, the Glendore Sprint (Non-Black Type) over 1000m.
He rides Villa Del Largo, a seven-year-old son of Jallad who will be in pursuit of his fifth consecutive win. This Justin Snaith-trained gelding has done little wrong since setting foot at Fairview. He’s missed the top three positions on a single occasion and Fortune has steered him to victory before.
Form doesn’t get any more honest than this and it would come as no surprise if Fortune extended the winning streak to five. He shoulders a hefty 62.5kg but has shown class in his last four wins and deserves respect.
He’s drawn No. 4 and has impressively beaten all but two runners in this seven-horse field – Fire Horse and Captain’s Reserve. Both are held on form by Villa Del Largo. Captain’s Reserve returns from a 63-day rest and might need the run.
Trainer Alan Greeff saddles two runners, Thayer and Insearchofthesun who appears to be stable jockey Greg Cheyne’s pick. Thayer hasn’t performed well in his last three runs when stepping up in class and meeting a lot stronger. Insearchofthesun ran on late to finish third behind Villa Del Largo last time out and should Cheyne’s pick be the right one we could witness a battle between two riders who are currently tied for top spot.
Racing is not easy at Fairview but with Fortune in the irons one can’t help but believe Villa Del Largo might be difficult to outshine.