What a remarkable story is the rise of Irish jockey John Allen from County Cork who won the major group one event on both days of the recent South Australian Racing Carnival.
He timed the run of boom colt Russian Camelot to perfection in the South Australian Derby swamping his opposition with a scintillating turn of foot to win running away which saw bookie boys make him favourite for many of the big races to be staged during the famous Melbourne spring carnival.
On Saturday when local galloper Gytrash dashed away with 200 metres to travel he looked the certain winner of the group one Goodwood Handicap but Johnny burst into the clear aboard the James Cumming trained Trekking and snatched victory in the final bound giving him his 10th group one victory.
But it certainly was not always like this. Johnny was a jumps jockey doing it tough to make ends meet when he spied an ad for a jumps jockey in Australia and decided to try his luck "down under".
He rode plenty of winners over the sticks but the season was short with jumps racing conducted mainly in the winter months so he offered to ride work for anyone at any time and he started to get rides at country meetings on the flat and gradually made it into the city.
An interview after he won the 2019 Doomben Cup on Kenedna sums it up when he said, "It's unreal the way my life has changed since I left Ireland to try and find work in Australia; I have just won my sixth group one".
In another interview several months later he said, "My biggest break came at the Melbourne Cup Carnival of 1999. There were 90,000 people at Flemington on the first day when I won the group one VRC Derby on EXTRA BRUTT and on the last day I won the group one Mackinnon Stakes on Trap for Fools".
Johnny was rapt after winning a group one for trainer James Cummings. Whose great grandfather Jim and grandfather Bart as a winner of the race. "I think I might have had one ride for them before in a poxy maiden," he said.
According to reports the record for most group one winners by an Australian jockey is George Moore with 126, Damien Oliver 119 (still riding), Jim Cassidy 104, Hugh Bowman 95 (still riding), Shane Dye 92 and Roy Higgins 90.
Media reports had this year's three-year-olds labelled as a golden generation. We'll never know as the breeders get them into the breeding barn where the big dollars can be made. Once the three-year-old wins or places in a group one its racing career is just about over. Cant take the risk they may fail as a four-year-old.
Media reports have Castelvecchio, Alabama Express Super Seth, Exceedance, Microphone and Yes Yes Yes plus fillies Alizee, In Her Time, Iam Excited, Booker and Invincibella all retired.
Father O'Flaherty asks Mrs O'Reilly how many children she had. "Four" was the reply. "That's a good Catholic woman you are and when will you be having the next?" "I'm not Father," she replied. "I've read that every fifth child born in the world is Chinese."
Whatever you back in the Stradbroke save your stake on Trekking. Placed in the Everest and a group one winner in Adelaide on Saturday. Will be in the finish.