An interim suspension has been imposed on former champion jockey Andrew Fortune, pictured, after he was involved in a fracas at Turffontein Racecourse on Saturday.
According to witnesses, Fortune came into the weighing room after the running of race seven and alleged jockey Gavin Lerena had deliberately caused interference to Captain Morisco, who is trained by Fortune’s wife, Ashley. Lerena responded and a shouting match ensued.
However, the confrontation became heated and allegedly turned physical. Captain Morisco was well backed and was sent off favourite at odds of 14-10, but was beaten into second place by 9-1 shot Saviour. Lerena rode fourth-placed Garden Party.
The National Horseracing Authority have opened an inquiry into the incident but said yesterday: “After carefully considering the prima facie evidence, the provisions of Rule 91.2 have been enforced and an interim suspension has been imposed on Mr Andrew Fortune, a licensed stable employee and colour holder, from attending race meetings until the outcome of the inquiry has been determined.”
On Sunday, in a move to stem any damage to Fortune Racing sustained by the controversy, Ashley Fortune said: “Fortune Racing would like to apologise for the incident which occurred at Turffontein racecourse.
“Unfortunately, due to the nature of this sport, emotions run high but incidents like this should not happen.”