Lightly raced Lyuba gave Ben Allen a milestone win earlier this year and the emerging apprentice is looking forward to reuniting with her at Moonee Valley.
Allen claimed his first city win on the Darren Weir-trained Lyuba at Sandown in April before finishing second on the filly at Caulfield later that month.
“She helped kick me off in town,” Allen said.
“She’s a nice horse because she tries her guts out.”
Now a four-year-old, Lyuba will be resuming from a spell in Saturday’s MSC Signs Handicap (1000m) for mares and shares the top line of betting with Estaminet at $3.70.
Since registering his first metropolitan winner, Allen has added another 25 in Melbourne including 13 so far this season to be leading the metropolitan apprentices’ premiership by one over Beau Mertens.
He hopes Lyuba, who will carry 52kg after the apprentice’s 2kg claim, can add to that on Saturday, with the mare forming part of a good book of rides for the 17-year-old.
“She will have no weight on her back on Saturday,” Allen said
“We’ve drawn a nice gate (3). She’s a horse who probably needs to switch off that little bit more but I’d say she’ll be quite close to the leaders and I reckon she’ll run pretty well.”
Five of Allen’s eight rides at Moonee Valley are for Victoria’s premier trainer Weir including Stellar Collision who is the early favourite in the Montmorency FC Handicap (1000m).