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Victoria-based Cork-born jockey Johnny Allen, fresh from his Group 1 victory in the South Australian Derby on Russian Camelot at Morphettville last Saturday, returned to the Adelaide track today to claim another Group 1 success, this time aboard the Godolphin-owned Trekking in The Goodwood.
The Cork-native, who has won more than 600 winners and earned A$30 million in prize-money since emigrating to Australia in 2011, was claiming his fourth Group 1 in Adelaide, having previously won the South Australian Derby on three occasions.
Trekking, a five-year-old gelded son of Street Cry, trained by James Cummings, grandson of the legendary Australian trainer, Bart, came with a late charge to deny Lightning Stakes winner and race favourite Gytrash in today’s 1200m (6 furlong) Group 1 contest.
The eventual second, Gytrash, moved clear with 200m to race before Allen’s mount, Trekking, wore him down in the latter stages to win by a short half-head. The win gave Trekking his 11th career success and second Group 1 victory, having won the Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane last year, while another Godolphin representative, Lyre, was another one-and-three-quarter lengths further back in third in the $400,000 six-furlong handicap.
Speaking of Trekking, his 10th career Group One win, Allen admitted:
“It was my first time riding him and when I got out to the mounting yard, I was surprised how small he was. He was tough and he had a super run but the runner-up (Gytrash) gave a really good kick. I thought when I got out that we were going to catch him but he (Gytrash) kept kicking. To my lad’s credit, he really fought and kept kicking to the line.”
Today’s win was 35-year-old Allen’s first win at the highest level over a sprint distance with the majority over 2000m and further although he won the Coolmore Legacy Stakes on Kenedna last year in Sydney over 1600m.
Unfortunately, similar to last weekend, the Irish rider incurred a suspension, having being adjudged to have caused interference aboard the winner. As a result, the Corkman has been suspended for six meetings for careless riding to go with the five-meeting ban handed down to him last Saturday by the South Australian stewards.
The initial suspension commenced immediately following this morning’s Morphettville card and runs through until May 27 with the Trekking suspension to follow, meaning Allen will be out of action until June 8.