John Allen has forged a name as one of Australia’s leading jumps jockeys since arriving from Ireland.
Included in his victories is Australia’s longest race, the Grand Annual Steeplechase at Warrnambool, which he won this year won on Regina Coeli.
Allen doesn’t want to be regarded as purely a jumps jockey and rides work for dual Melbourne premiership winning trainer Darren Weir at Ballarat.
Of his 106 wins in Australia, 63 have been on the flat including a winning treble at Swan Hill earlier this month.
Now Allen gets his chance in town where he rides five of Weir’s horses at Caulfield on Saturday including Dandino in the Group One Memsie Stakes.
It will be Allen’s first ride in a Group One race.
“I did very little riding on the flat in Ireland but I had a few Grade One rides over the jumps,” he said.
“I want to be known as a jockey, not just a jumps jockey.”
Allen can ride at 57kg and said he’s looking forward to riding against some of Australia’s best on Saturday.
He said he doesn’t need to starve himself but is in control of what he eats and rides plenty of work to keep himself in trim.
Besides Dandino, Allen will also partner Belorum, Tall Ship, May’s Dream and Taiyoo, the latter two in black type races.
Allen said he would rely on Weir’s form analyst Peter Ellis to devise a game plan for his rides.
“Peter is a great help on raceday,” Allen said.
“I know the form of Darren’s horses and how they run but Peter will tell me who I should try and follow.
“I’ve drawn OK in the Group One but the others haven’t drawn so well.
“A lot of them are resuming, so I presume they will get back and be making a bit of ground.”
Article from justhorseracing.com.au