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In recent months, jockey John Allen has become a frequent fixture at feature metropolitan race meetings.

Two weeks ago Allen landed his biggest flat success on the Darren Weir-trained Howard Be Thy Name in the South Australian Derby at Morphettville.

Howard Be Thy Name is entered for the Grand Prix Stakes at Doomben on Saturday but Allen will instead be getting back to his roots on another Weir runner at Sandown.

Irishman Allen, who cut his teeth in Australia as a jumps jockey, will ride Gingerboy in the Australian Hurdle.

Gingerboy is unbeaten in three starts over hurdles with Allen aboard for his past two at Sandown and Warrnambool where he won the feature Galleywood on May 4.

Allen and Weir are a formidable combination, boasting a strike rate of 18 per cent and while Allen has been riding in good form on the flat, his form over jumps is even better.

From his past 10 rides, Allen has saluted on six occasions and finished runner-up three times.

His one miss was aboard Regina Coeli in Warrnambool’s Grand Annual Steeplechase.

Allen is looking forward to getting back aboard Gingerboy in Saturday’s $125,000 feature jumps race.

“He’ll probably go off favourite in it,” Allen said.

“He’s going pretty well so hopefully he’ll be pretty hard to beat.”

If Gingerboy can win on Saturday and again in the Grand National Hurdle at Warrnambool in August, he will earn his connections a $300,000 bonus having already taken the Galleywood.

Gingerboy rounded out his preparation for the Australian Hurdle with a 2-1/2 length second in a hurdle school at Cranbourne last Friday.

Arch Fire, beaten by Gingerboy at Sandown and again at Warrnambool, had the measure of Allen’s mount in the trial but that didn’t concern the jockey.

“It was a day out for him and he wasn’t there to do much,” Allen said.

“He jumped a little bit messy over the last couple of hurdles but I’m sure on race day he’ll be a different sort of horse.”

 
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