Irishman gets jump on rivals
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.”
John Allen returns to scale on Trap For Fools.