Former jump jockey Allen scores Group 1 success for Godolphin down under
Fresh from a history-making success in the South Australian Derby last week, former Irish jump jockey Johnny Allen continued his fine run of form by bagging his tenth career Group 1 down under aboard the Godolphin-owned Trekking in The Goodwood at Morphettville.
Just seven days on from partnering Russian Camelot to become the first northern hemisphere-bred colt to win a derby in Australia, Allen delivered the James Cummings-trained five-year-old on the line to record a last-gasp victory at the expense of 2-1 favourite Gytrash.
However, the 35-year-old Cork native, who has recorded more than 600 winners and earned roughly A$30 million(£15.9m) in prize-money since emigrating to Australia in 2011, earned a lengthy ban for his $400,000 victory.
Having picked up a five-meeting suspension last weekend for careless riding in his top-level success, Allen was handed another six-meeting ban for the same offence on his way to victory aboard Trekking.
However, that wouldn't have dented the rider's spirits too much, with the Saturday success signalling a strong start to a possible partnership with Godolphin.
"I think I might have had one ride for them [Godolphin] before, in a poxy Kyneton maiden," he told Racing.com.
"But it was good to get the ride today. Obviously, they’re very famous colours and James Cummings is part of a very famous family and this was my first ride for him as well. It’s a good start to our partnership, hopefully."
Allen's diminutive partner proved extremely willing in the closing stages to overhaul the market leader, providing Cummings with a first victory in South Australia’s most famous sprint race.
"What a great, little horse," said the winning rider. "It was my first time riding him and I was actually surprised when I got to the mounting yard how small he is."
Allen added: "He was tough and we had a super run. The runner-up [Gytrash] gave a real good kick and I thought getting out that we were going to catch him and he kept kicking, but to my lad's credit he really fought and put his head down on the line."
Oceanex earns first guaranteed Melbourne Cup spot at Flemington
Meanwhile at Flemington, progressive filly Oceanex became the first horse to gain entry into the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup, lowering the colours of Lloyd Williams' well-backed 4-5 favourite King Of Leogrance in the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes.
Representing the training partnership of Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr, the Mark Zahra-ridden four-year-old stuck to the task well over the 1m6f test, benefiting from an energy-saving journey from stall one.
In the aftermath of the $320,000 success, Price praised the judgement of Tom Marquand for suggesting the winner step up in trip, having previously ridden the filly over 1m2f while enjoying a successful spell in Australia.
"Marquand got on her in Sydney and said ‘you want to try this over a mile and a half’," Price told Racing.com.
"So her first run over 2500 metres in Adelaide [when first in the Port Adelaide Cup] was strong and today was fantastic."
He added: "I know she drew barrier one and got the gun ride with a clean pair of hands from (Mark) Zahra, but still, she beat the right horse in the race and she won convincingly going away."
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