We’ve already proclaimed the stats relating to Summerhill’s fifth Breeders Championship in a row and it’s time to visit a few others:
- Champion Jockey: Andrew Fortune, against so many odds (see letter below)
- Champion Apprentice Jockey: Derreck David. Defeated a serious prospect in Keris Teetan by a single victory, and his last win of the season (the one that got him home) also came courtesy of a Summerhill-bred, Manyano. Delighted to have been of assistance!
- The last race of the 2008/2009 season was won by a Summerhill-bred, Usimelika.
- The first race of the 2009/2010 season was won by, yes, you guessed it, another Summerhill-bred in Bambelela.
Letter sent to Andrew Fortune
4th August 2009
Good Morning Andrew
If ever there was a triumph against the odds, it lies in your Jockey’s Championship. Coming from where you did, and overcoming what you had to, is a miracle in itself, but it’s also a tribute to remarkable self-discipline, great determination and extraordinary talent. There are few masters of your craft who’ve ever had the natural ability you were gifted with, and you’ve at last converted that to the highest honour our game can bestow on you.
At the same time, the championship comes with great responsibilities, like it or not, it casts you as a role model for so many others. Firstly, there’s the kid who comes from the underprivileged background; secondly, there’s the fellow who overcomes a chronic addiction; thirdly, there’s the exceptional talent exploiting the opportunities of life to the fullest; and finally, there’s the example of the generous rewards which racing as a sport and jockeyship as a profession, offers to the person who’s willing to risk their career at it, and work himself to the bone for it.
The Summerhill team joins me in offering our sincerest congratulations on an outstanding effort. We know what it takes to get there, and there’s no team that admires you more.
From one champion to another; well done.