Aldo Domeyer, son of the legendary rider Andrew Fortune, has landed the plum job of number one jockey to the powerful Cape stable of Candice Bass-Robinson. It is the perfect early birthday present for Domeyer, who turns 30 in March. He replaces Grant van Niekerk, who was previously the stable’s retained jockey.
The appointment is the latest in what is already a memorable season for the Cape Town-born jockey. He was selected to represent the SA side in the international meetings in November and, more recently, booted home six winners at a meeting at Kenilworth.
Sheer determination caused Domeyer’s career to take off, because back in 2003 he was considered "not good enough" by his riding masters at the South African Jockey Academy.
Obviously buoyed by his father’s success, he returned to the academy four years later and proved his detractors wrong by riding more than 200 winners during his apprenticeship.
His biggest success came three years ago when he won the J&B Met on the outsider, Martial Eagle.
His new role with the Bass-Robinson stable means he will cut ties with trainer Andre Nel and owner Sabine Plattner. He has enjoyed considerable success in Plattner’s colours.
Bass-Robinson is in her first season as a fully fledged trainer having taken over the reins of the stable from her father, Mike Bass, last August.
When asked if his daughter was up to the task, Bass replied: "No doubt, she’s got natural talent, she’s a good judge and has a good eye for a horse and that’s really what you need."
The stable’s Met runner, Marinaresco, disappointed when unplaced behind Whisky Baron and Legal Eagle in the Sun Met. Bass-Robinson will be hoping the son of Silvano fares better with Domeyer in the saddle.
The 2,200m Allez France Handicap tops the bill at Turffontein on Saturday and Alec Laird’s Irish-bred filly Cidada should give punters a good run for their money. It is a competitive race, with Gavin Lerena’s mount, Patchitupbaby, trained by Ormond Ferraris, likely to top bookmakers’ boards.
It remains to be seen whether the Ferraris inmate is up to conceding 6kg to Cidada.
Geoff Woodruff sends a strong team to the city track from his Randjesfontein base and he has booked Piere Strydom for the ride on his Allez France runner Zante. Woodruff will be disappointed if he returns home empty-handed as Street Gaze (fifth race), Grand Roche (sixth) and Pagoda in the final leg of the jackpot all possess winning chances.