Allen wins on return
ANTHONY Allen made a winning return to Grafton yesterday when he saluted aboard the locally trained Belhari Boy for Graeme Want.
Now a regular in the winners' circle in Brisbane, Allen is one of Grafton racing's brightest exports.
The apprentice has recently returned to the stables of Steele Ryan at Deagon after a stint with Gerald Ryan in Sydney and says the southern exposure has taught him a lot.
"Gerald was a good boss and I learnt a lot going down to Sydney for a few months," Allen said.
"The idea was that I'd always go back to Brisbane and I rode my first metropolitan Saturday winner since my return when Show Affection won at Doomben on the weekend."
Allen reunited with trainer Want for a victory aboard Belhari Boy yesterday.
"I rode this horse in work very early on when it was really still a baby, and while it has limited ability it was always going to be good enough to get a win or two around here.
"Graeme really helped me when I was first starting out riding and it's great to be able to come home and ride a winner for him."
Want lured Allen back to his hometown after seeing promise in Belhari Boy leading up to the meeting.
"The horse had trialled in Brisbane before it came down and didn't have any luck at all on debut, it probably could have run second," Want said.
Belhari Boy defeated Beau Brock by a head in a driving finish to the XXXX Gold Maiden Handicap (1000m). Dark Facet was 2.7 lengths away in third.
Allen returns to Brisbane to ride at Doomben tomorrow and Eagle Farm on Saturday.
"I've got 13 months left to go in my apprenticeship and still claim two kilograms weight allowance in town," Allen said.
"I've outridden my claim in the country, so I race on level terms with the senior riders now."