Dream Start for John Allen

Irish jumps jockey John Allen couldn't have dreamt for a better start to his six-month stint in Australia winning a Maiden Hurdle on The Catarena at last week's Warrnambool carnival. It was his first day of riding in Australia and he handled The Catarena, who was making his jumps debut, with aplomb. A 26-year-old from County Cork in Ireland, Allen is one of eight jockeys Murray Bridge trainer John O'Connor arranged to come to Australia to boost the jumping riders ranks this season. Having already ridden around 100 winners back home, Allen arrived at Ballarat six weeks ago. He then schooled the majority of Darren Weir's jumpers and because of his tireless work, was rewarded with the winning ride on The Catarena. Raced by the Lakies Syndicate which is made up of members of the local Learmonth Football Club, The Catarena has had a number of leg injuries but looks to have found his niche as a jumper.

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