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Racing in shock after jockey dies of pneumonia hours after final winner

Alec Forbes: jockey tragically died of pneumonia hours after riding at Scottsville
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South African racing has been stunned by the sudden death of jockey Alec Forbes early on Thursday, only a few hours after he rode a winner from five rides at Scottsville.

He told fellow jockeys at Scottsville he was not feeling well and thought he had flu. His condition deteriorated after a spell in the sauna but he honoured his riding commitments.

During the evening he began vomiting and his wife Lezeanne took him to hospital where it was found that he had pneumonia, which led to organ failure. He was 41.

Fellow rider Greg Cheyne was among those to pay tribute, saying: "Alec was a top-class rider and a gentleman of the sport. We are all deeply shocked and so saddened for his family."

Forbes rode more than 800 winners, including seven in Group 1 races, notably the 2011 Computaform Sprint and the following year’s Cape Flying Championship on Val De Ra, dam of Miss Frankel who provided Frankel with his first South African winner at Wednesday’s Scottsville meeting. He also won the 2002 Gold Cup on Highland Night.

He was quiet and reserved but popular with his fellow riders. He had been helping his wife build up her own stable and rode the vast majority of her winners. They had three children.

Alec was a top-class rider and a gentleman of the sport. We are all deeply shocked and so saddened for his family
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