Ir­ish­man gets jump on ri­vals

Herald on Sunday - - RACING -

Abril­liant ride by Ir­ish jockey John Allen nursed a brave Trap For Fools to claim the $2 mil­lion Mack­in­non Stakes over a star-packed in­ter­na­tional field at Flem­ing­ton.

The for­mer West Aus­tralian stayer looked cer­tain to be over­run at the 100m but Allen lifted ev­ery last ounce out of his coura­geous mount’s re­serves to deny in­ter­na­tional raider La­trobe and fast-fin­ish­ing Ex­tra Brut, which Allen had rid­den to vic­tory in last week’s Vic­to­ria Derby.

The shock vic­tory also gave trainer Jar­rod McLean his first group one suc­cesses.

Trap For Fools got to the lead early from the out­side and then showed the same fight­ing spirit he showed when nar­rowly beaten by su­per mare Winx over the iden­ti­cal trip in the Turnbull Stakes.

Only a head and short head sep­a­rated the first three across the line as trainer McLean cel­e­brated wildly.

“I was dis­ap­pointed when he missed out on the Cox Plate but ev­ery­thing hap­pens for a rea­son,” McLean said.

Allen won three races on the day to go with his vic­tory in last Satur­day’s Derby on Ex­tra Brut, com­plet­ing an ex­tra­or­di­nary car­ni­val for the Ir­ish­man, who con­tin­ues to mix flat and jumps rid­ing.

“It’s un­be­liev­able, re­ally. I couldn’t get a ride back home, plain and sim­ple. I had just qui­etened down,” he was quoted in the me­dia last week.

“I de­sired to travel a bit and I ended up at Dar­ren Weir’s. It just kicked off from there.”

The Ir­ish­man, who an­swered an ad in the Rac­ing Post for jumps jock­eys down un­der, has be­come Weir’s pre­ferred jockey, but be­ing a heavy­weight costs him many rides.

Weir asks Allen what he weight he can ride at and then puts him on the best of his sta­ble has to of­fer.

Mean­while, the An­thony Freed­man-trained Santa Ana Lane pow­ered through the field to claim the other group one on the card, the $1 mil­lion VRC Sprint Clas­sic.

Santa Ana Lane beat In Her Time by a neck while Jun­gle Cat and Pier­ata dead-heated for third.

The Ever­est win­ner and race favourite Redzel fin­ished fifth.

Santa Ana Lane jockey Mark Zahra said af­ter the race that An­thony Freed­man had to told him to just let the race un­fold.

“[He said] if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. Don’t worry about push­ing and shov­ing. It gives you great con­fi­dence when a trainer says that. I had to be re­ally pa­tient and I went from think­ing ‘which way can I go’ to all of a sud­den ‘I’m in front a bit far out here’, so I was wait­ing for some­thing to run me down. But gee he ran well.”

Photo / Getty Im­ages

John Allen re­turns to scale on Trap For Fools.

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