A decision to move to Australia to expand his jumps career had paid off for Irishman John Allen

FEELING GRAND: John Allen celebrated his second Grand Annual Steeplechase in three years on Thursday. Picture: Rob Gunstone
FEELING GRAND: John Allen celebrated his second Grand Annual Steeplechase in three years on Thursday. Picture: Rob Gunstone

JOHN Allen suspects his parents might have woken up in the middle of the night to watch him win his second Grand Annual Steeplechase halfway across the world.

The jumps jockey saluted on the Ciaron Maher-trained Regina Coeli for the second time in three years at Warrnambool’s May Racing Carnival on Thursday.

Allen, who arrived in Australia six years ago, said his parents Mick and Mary knew the significance of the three-day carnival.

“It would have been late at night but they would have definitely recorded it,” he said of the 5500-metre epic.

“Or they could have stayed up and watched Warrnambool because they know it’s a big carnival.”

Allen said his decision to move to Australia in 2011 had paid dividends.

He has also won three Galleywood Hurdles to complement his two Grand Annual Steeplechase victories.

The versatile hoop has also shown his prowess on the flat, winning a group one race in Adelaide.

“I have had a lot of luck I think,” Allen said of his time in Australia.

“I started with Darren Weir and he’s just gone from strength to strength since I’ve been there.”

Allen, who visits Ireland once a year, said he was happy his younger sister watched him win his third Galleywood on the Darren Weir-trained Renew on Wednesday.

He said his two sisters had showjumping backgrounds but he was the only one in his family to build a career as a jockey.

Allen walked the track before the race to help plot his course. He revealed he knew he was home “the last 50 yards”.

“It’s definitely the biggest jumps race to win in Australia and I’ve won it twice now, so it’s unbelievable,” he said.

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