Aldo Domeyer: Star of the Week

ALDO DOMEYER (26) is a classic example of why perseverance pays off in life. In 2003, he was considered ‘not good enough’ by his riding masters at the South African Jockey Academy but his determination caused him to return a few years later. After riding just over 200 winners during his four-year apprenticeship, Aldo has won close on double those races now and has firmly established himself as one of the promising youngsters in the game. His recent victory aboard Martial Eagle in the J & B Met was his first Grade 1 winner and he has his sights set on many more. Being the son of legendary jockey Andrew Fortune, the jury was out on Aldo’s ability to follow the ‘big shoes’ of his father but he has had a great start to his brief career and WINNING FORM is confident that he can also one day claim the South African National Jockey’s Championship. He rides the Alan Greeff trained, PLACIDO in this Sunday’s Grade 3 East Cape Derby powered by Recall Security and Aldo is quietly confident of a big run from the son of Miesque’s Approval.





What is your name and age?
Aldo Chesrae Domeyer and I am 26 years old.

What is your star sign and birthdate?
Peaceful Pisces and I was born on 11 March 1987.

Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Cape Town and spent most of my years growing up in the infamous Elsies River.

Where do you live?
I currently live in Blouberg/Table View area.

Tell us about your family?
My mother is Desiré Domeyer and my dad is Andrew Fortune (so quite a good bloodline). Then I have 4 brothers and 3 sisters. My girlfriend and mother of my child is Sharna Pheiffer and my handsome son is Seth Domeyer (1).

Do you have a ‘nickname’?
Yes, Doey and The Hitman to the local punter.

Favourite food?
I have become a big Sushi fan and there is nothing like a nice home cooked meal.

Favourite drink?
Malibu.

Favourite music?
R ‘n B, soul and pop.

Favourite book?
50 Shades Of Grey – haven’t read it but I’ve appreciated the results of it LOL.

What is the characteristic you like most about yourself?
Probably how easy it is for me to remain humble.

What is the characteristic you like least about yourself?
Not being able to say no.

Favourite sport?
Racing, cricket and rugby. STORMERRRS!!!

Are you interested in soccer and, if so, which is your favourite soccer team?
Not as much as I used to be. I hate the fence sitters. I am a Man United fan.

Favourite holiday destination?
Wild Coast Sun and Macau.

What tertiary qualification did you achieve?
Matric Certificate.

Where did you go to school?
The Racing Academy, Oude Moulen Technical High and Belhar Secondary where I matriculated top of my class.

Aldo with father Andrew Fortune

As the son of jockey Andrew Fortune, did you always want to be a jockey or did you have your sights set on another type of career?
I couldn’t and never had my mind set on anything but this.

Did your father, Andrew, tell you exciting stories about racing?
No, as his emotions and expressions told it all.

When did you join the jockey academy and how many years was your apprenticeship?
First in 2003 for 6 months, where they “discovered” I wasn’t any good, and again in 2007 where they gave me the opportunity to extinguish that notion. Was an apprentice for 4 years and reached just over 200 winners.

Who were your riding masters at the academy?
Vince Curtis and Paul Gadsby. I learnt most of what I know from Charles Laird and Andrew Fortune in Jo’burg.

Were you always based at the Summerveld academy?
No, I relocated to the Cape Town Academy.

Who were you fellow apprentices?
Karl Zechner, Devin Habib, Keagan Latham, Kendall Minnie and later Grant Van Niekerk, Gareth Wright and JP van der Merwe.

Which of them were you particularly friendly with?
Karl Zechner. Also my son’s Godfather’s are Grant Van Niekerk and Gareth Wright.

Which jockeys did you look up to when you were an apprentice?
Piere Strydom, Anton Marcus, Weichong Marwing and Andrew Fortune.

Which trainer, or trainers, befriended you and helped you on your way?
Mr. Bass from day 1. Yogus and Plattner racing, The Late Nic Claassen and Gavin Smith. Mr. Elley too, obviously.

Tell us about your first winner?
It was a pointer for Tyron Norton, called Haddaway.

How many winners have you ridden to date?
Approaching 400.

You ride freelance for many yards in the Cape. Which trainers give you the most chances?
Mr. Bass, Yogas Govender and Patrick Kruyer. Not too many Snaith rides but the ones I get are decent.

Are there any young horses from these stables that the punters can follow in the future?
Alascan Maiden and Secret Command are decent horses.

How often do you ride work and for whom?
I ride from Monday to Saturday at Milnerton and Ronderburg.

Is it fair to say that your greatest moment in the game thus far was your win aboard Martial Eagle in the J & B Met? Tell us about the build-up to the race and the race itself?
Yes-in a sense. It still hasn’t sunk in yet. He seemed to be getting better and better and the closer we got to the race the closer he got to his peak! His gallop was phenomenal and I gained more and more confidence. From there his bad draw seemed to put his chance out the window but the way things mapped out, and the incredible confidence Martial Eagle gave me in the canter to the start, was unforgettable. It calmed me down and he gave me the perfect result.

Celebrating the J&B Met victory
Describe the emotions when you crossed the finishing post?
I don’t really remember. I could make something up though?

You rode the first 4 winners on the card at Kenilworth recently. Was that the most winners you have had on a meeting?
Yes. I have had a 4 timer a few times. This was the 2nd time I have had 4 winners on the trot.

How many grade 1 winners have you ridden in your career?
The Met was my first.

Which are the major feature races you have won?
Prix du Cap (Gr 2) X2, Cape Derby (Gr3), East Cape Sprint, The Matchem Stakes (Gr3), Graham Beck Stakes (Gr 3), Mauritius Avis Cup, Eastern Cape Fillies Nursery X2, YTN Cup (Gr 2) in Korea, to mention a few.

Have you raced in any countries outside South Africa? \
Yes, Korea, Mauritius and Macau.

What are your short and long-term ambitions?
My short term ambition is to win 100 races this season and I am 27 short. My long term ambition is to work my way to the top.

How often do you watch Tellytrack?
I watch after every race meeting.

How do you prep yourself going into races e.g. form studying or watching replays?
I know the behaviour of most of the horses we race and study Computaform to confirm it. It also helps when I bother to I take the time to study the form of my fellow jockeys and understand how they are likely to race. I formulate everything from there.

Does your dad still give you constructive criticism after a race?
Not as often as the mistakes become less but, yes, he still does.

Are you currently sponsored?
I am not contracted to anyone as yet.

Do you have an agent?
Nothing signed as yet.

You are the stable jockey to top PE based trainer Gavin Smith. Tell us about your weekly visits to the friendly city?
It is pretty straight forward. I fly into PE on Friday morning for the meeting and fly out that evening. Sometimes we need to drive to PE and back due to limited CPT/PE flights.

How has your season in PE gone?
Pretty good. I’m currently 2nd or 3rd on the log.

Will Gavin Smith be taking any horses to KZN for the winter season?
Like Mr. Smith says, if we have the horse we will travel. We have been bold to date and it has paid off well.

Which are some of the better horses you have ridden for trainer Gavin Smith this season?
Two to follow should be Sedge and the extremely talented Muscatt.

Do you only ride for Gavin Smith or do you take rides for other trainers in PE?
Mostly for Mr. Smith. If I am available he assures me decent rides.

Which track do you prefer between Fairview and Arlington?
Lately Arlington as it has been in much better nick.

What is your minimum riding mass?
In summer 53,5kgs and in winter 54.5kgs.

Do you have any problems keeping your weight down?
In winter I battle quite a bit.

Aldo on board Tango Step in the YTN Cup
Apart from your Met win, what is the most exciting moment you have experienced in your time in racing?
Winning the YTN Cup in Korea. It was my first Graded winner. Also my 100th winner which came in the Cape Derby.  Flying to Cape Town for my ride on Our Giant, in my 1st year, and he became my 1st Cape winner.

Did you watch the controversial My Sanctuary race and what are your views on this?
I never watched the race so cannot comment on it.

Which are your favourite stallions?
Silvano, Jet Master, Trippi and Jallad.

Outside of racing do you have anything else you are passionate about?
Building and design.

What is your philosophy on the racing game?
I believe you must create your own luck.

Do you think racing is well-policed?
Yes, I definitely do.

Tell us about your rides at Fairview on Friday:

Race 1: MATURIN (7): I know nothing about him but if he is half as good as his brother MUSCATT he would have a big chance.

Race 2: ZULU LEGEND (15): He showed promise first time out but then lost his way. If he is back to his debut form he should have a big chance.

Race 3: TALIWAG (13): She would prefer 1000m but she is very gutsy and is one of my better rides on the day.

Race 4: VICTORIALAINE (5): He has a very wide draw. If he runs on as he usually does he should run into the money.

Race 5: LE VAR (6): I would ignore his last run. This is a very competitive race but I am expecting a decent run and I think he is up to the task.

Race 6: LAND OF MEADOWS (10): His last run was very disappointing. For now I would suggest just watching him to see how he progresses.

Race 7: BE THE BEST (4): He has ability and should run well in this competitive field.

Race 8: NABABEEP (3): Is badly drawn and has a tough task.

On Sunday you ride PLACIDO in the East Cape Derby worth R350000, at Fairview. Please tell us about this ride?
He shows ability and has a decent chance. The pace should be good enough for him to enjoy it and he is one of the few horses in the race that will stay.

The old maxim is, “Behind every successful man is an equally successful woman.” Does that apply to Aldo Domeyer?
I have the support of wonderful woman in my life. If it weren’t for the strength of my grandmothers Domeyer and Fortune and my Mom, I doubt I would be where I am. Sharna also plays a significant role in my life. I am very blessed.





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