Dream start for Allen
Victorian apprentice Ben Allen made an immediate impact in New Zealand when he won the opening leg of the Jockeys’ World Cup series at Ellerslie.
He had tipped Lily The Pink to be his best prospect on Wednesday’s twilight programme prior to the Edwards Sound Maiden (1400m) and duly produced a copybook ride to rein the favourite to a comfortable victory.
|Lily The Pink Photo: Trish Dunell Photography|
“She did everything right,” Allen said. “She felt the track, it was a little bit firm and she’ll be much better with some cut in the ground, but she got the job done.”
He settled Lily The Pink close to the pace and was out to challenge 250m from home before drawing clear to beat the pacemaker Zenvo and Jason Collett by a length and a-quarter with Rondinella a late-finishing third under Matt Cameron.
Trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Lily The Pink was making her seasonal debut following a break after one appearance as a two-year-old.
Her connections gave an indication of their regard for the daughter of Makfi when she was pitched straight into black type company in the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes (1400m) and finished a creditable fourth behind Haussmann.
“She’s not overly tall, she’s quite compact, and she’s showed a lot of ability all the way through,” Forsman said.
Lily The Pink holds Group One nominations for next month’s Gr.1 Grant Plumbing Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham and the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) in the autumn. – NZ Racing Desk.