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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Former Arena executive Jim Allen to start training in Kentucky

Jim Allen: spent 15 years with Arc
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A former top racecourse executive in Britain is looking to make his mark in the training ranks in America.

Jim Allen, who spent 15 years with Arena Racing Company, latterly as director of racing, has spent two years learning about the American scene since quitting Britain.

A licensed trainer in Britain, where he won four races with Beach Rhythm in 2013 and 2014, Allen is hoping to attract European investment to his operation.

"There are so many reasons why American racing is attractive to Europeans, not least the prize-money, with maidens regularly worth $30,000 to $40,000 and some up to $150,000 at Churchill Downs," he said.

"It's easy to watch and bet on American racing now in Europe and at a convenient time after work in the evening, while flights are relatively cheap as well." 

Allen has spent the last six months as assistant to Michael Dickinson, who successfully made the transition from top jumps trainer in Britain to Breeders' Cup-winning trainer in America.

Now Allen wants to blend the best of Britain and America in training methods and in ownership syndicates.

Jim Allen (centre) with Michael Dickinson (right) inspect the new Tapeta surface at Wolverhampton four years ago
Allen explained: "I started in Florida and after two years on the east coast I've chosen Kentucky to start out, and after looking at Louisville I'm in Lexington.

"I've been assisting Michael, who I met when he put his Tapeta surface in at Wolverhampton when I was with Arc.

"As well as looking at how he trains – he had two stakes-placed runners last weekend – I've been learning how east coast racing works.

"There's no online entry system – you just have to ring up the tracks and enter!"

He is hoping to announce his arrival with Hardest Part, an ex-Godolphin blueblood by Hard Spun out of a French and American stakes-placed half-sister to Goldikova whom he picked up at the Ascot sales before moving to America.

Allen, whose operation and objectives are set out on his website, is planning to buy five yearlings at the Keeneland sales with 20 people in each syndicate.

Then on the pinhooking side of the operation, Allen is targeting five foals to sell on as yearlings.

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It's easy to watch and bet on American racing now in Europe and at a convenient time after work in the evening
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