Racing: Reid suffers outrageous Fortune

THE PRESS Association appeared to be turning from a news agency into an employment agency yesterday, as it became the go-between in long-distance negotiations involving Robert Sangster and his present and future jockeys. There was good news for Jimmy Fortune, who heard that Sangster had finally confirmed a persistent rumour that his name was in the frame to partner the owner's horses next season. At the other end of the line, though, were John Reid, currently Peter Chapple-Hyam's first-call rider, and Peter Shoemark, his agent, who learned of the news not from Sangster, but from the morning papers.

The position of first jockey in the green and royal blue silks is not quite the guarantee of instant wealth and success it once was, and while Sangster is still just about in the Premier League of Flat owners, he is much more White Hart Lane than Highbury. None the less, the chance to ride impeccably-bred horses prepared at perhaps the best-appointed yard in Britain is one which few riders could refuse, and certainly not Fortune, who has been in need of a long-term position since he heard that Jack and Lynda Ramsden, his present employers, will hand in their licence at the end of the year.

This assumes, of course, that the offer actually arrives, but while Sangster has yet to speak to Fortune directly, he apparently intends to do so during the St Leger meeting. In the meantime, Fortune is reading the smoke signals and likes what he sees. "It's a surprise, but very good news," he said yesterday. "It is a very nice job and a great opportunity. I have been working hard and I'm riding well, but there is still a lot of improvement to come."

A spell as stable jockey to the Ramsdens did Kieren Fallon little harm when the time came to move to better things, and there is little Jack Ramsden does not teach his riders about finding the best ground and taking the shortest route. The only imponderable is whether Fortune has the temperament to put it all together at Newmarket and Ascot rather than Carlisle and Catterick, and there is only one way to find out.

Fortune is not a complete stranger to the big occasion, though, having won the Ayr Gold Cup on Joveworth in 1990 (he was the champion apprentice the same year) and again on Coastal Bluff two years ago, the Stewards' Cup in both 1994 and 1996, and the 1997 Chester Cup on Top Cees, for Sangster and the Ramsdens. His best season was 1996, when he rode 83 winners, but he has 78 to his credit this year and, if his luck is in, would expect to reach three figures for the first time.

There will, of course, be a measure of disappointment elsewhere if Fortune signs for Sangster. John Reid has been the first-choice rider at Manton since Peter Chapple-Hyam arrived there in 1991, and has won many big races for the yard, most notably the 1992 Derby on Dr Devious. If nothing else, he might have been expected to receive a call from Sangster before the story hit the papers.

Yet Peter Shoemark, Reid's agent was fairly sanguine about the situation yesterday. "We don't know anything except what has been in the paper so we're just carrying on as normal," Peter Shoemark said. "John's riding at the top of his game, and if one door shuts another one will open. We're in demand with the top trainers [Godolphin and Sir Michael Stoute among them] and he's won over a million quid in prize-money this year, even with Manton having a quiet year by their standards. John has had 71 winners, and only 21 have been for Peter Chapple-Hyam."

One of Reid's more profitable sidelines has been as the second-choice rider for Godolphin after Frankie Dettori, and he may well be needed again this weekend for either Starborough or Allied Forces in the Group Two Celebration Mile at Goodwood, all the more so with Dettori serving a suspension. This can be a variable race, but Saturday's renewal promises to one of the better ones, with 19 acceptors at yesterday's five-day stage including Lovers Knot, the Falmouth Stakes winner, Air Express, a Group One winner at Ascot last year, and Muhtathir, who won the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury 10 days ago.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders