Fortune steps aside after almost three decades

BOWING OUT: Fellow jockeys pay tribute to Jimmy Fortune (centre). Picture: Geoffrey Pieters
BOWING OUT: Fellow jockeys pay tribute to Jimmy Fortune (centre). Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

Jimmy Fortune brought the curtain down on a long and distinguished career after finishing third on Narthra for his former boss John Gosden during Saturday’s Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes.

A long-standing back issue was a leading factor in the 45-year-old’s decision to step aside, with a move into the property business alongside his two teenage sons on the horizon.

After riding his first winner in 1988, Fortune rose to prominence 12 months later when he guided 50-1 shot Joveworth to glory in the Ayr Gold Cup.

Fortune’s first Group 1 triumph came aboard the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Commander Collins in 1998, while his one and only Classic success was on Gosden’s Lucarno in the 2007 St Leger.

Other big victories for the Irish jockey included the Fillies’ Mile, the Coronation Stakes, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks.

“I love my racing, love the weighing room. It’s my life, so it’s been a difficult decision, but we all have to go sometime,” he said.

“I am very grateful to John to put me up in a race of this stature and I felt it was a nice way to go out — riding in a Group 1.”