It seems Irish jockey John Allen can win on anything at the moment.
Allen won the opening race at Sandown on Saturday aboard the Darren Weir-trained Cliff’s Edge before teaming with the leading trainer to win the Australian Hurdle on Renew.
The feature hurdle win tops off a successful month for Allen who won seven races over the three days of the Warrnambool carnival, including the Grand Annual Steeplechase, as well as posting interstate feature flat wins.
He guided Volatile Mix to win the Group One South Australian Derby on May 13 and then last week rode Kenedna to victory in the Group Two The Roses at Doomben.
Allen cut his teeth as a jumps jockey in Ireland before moving to Australia in 2011 where he first teamed with Weir as a track rider at Ballarat.
Now the pair are a feared combination.
Sent off the $2.35 favourite, Renew led over the final 2000m of Saturday’s 3400m race to score a seven-length win from Urban Explorer ($7.50) with Honey Steel’s Gold ($3.50) 2-1/4 lengths away third.
The win was Renew’s second feature hurdle win in three starts following victory in the Galleywood Hurdle at Warrnambool.
Weir held reservations about starting Renew on Saturday after the gelding disappointed when seventh in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington last Saturday.
“Last week was too bad for me to be backing a horse up normally,” Weir said.
“Johnny popped him over a few jumps this morning and said he felt fine and the crew down the beach said the further the week went on the better the horse was.
“The vet gave him the tick of approval and it ended up the right call but I was a bit nervous.”
Weir is still at a loss to explain Renew’s poor performance last week other to say the gelding switches off when racing among horses.
“Johnny says you’ve got to let him roll and go with him,” he said.
Weir is planning on heading to the Grand National Hurdle at Sandown in August with the gelding who is unbeaten in four runs over hurdles.
“We’ll just have to map out a path on how we get there now,” Weir said.