Joy Allen watches Race 4 at Grafton, named after her late husband John Allen who died earlier this year.
Joy Allen watches Race 4 at Grafton, named after her late husband John Allen who died earlier this year. Adam Hourigan

Punters turn out to honour Maclean icon John Allen

JOY Allen watched the race named after her late husband John from the top end of the straight, fresh from helping organise the new Fashions on the Field contest.

"I can't go down to the finish, I'll cry," she said.

"John would've been betting like a crazy thing. He loved coming out here, he loved the horses."

Ms Allen said that she couldn't believe the number of people who had come from out of the woodwork to pay their respects to the stalwart of Maclean business and sport, and was honoured that the race was named after him on Maclean Cup day.

"He loved a good speech too. Once we had a race named after us (Maclean Variety Meats), but they turned the mic off," she said.

"He didn't care. He wanted to thank everyone, the jockey club, the riders. He loved it."

 

IN MEMORIAL: John Allen's sons Mackenzie (centre) and Shannon (right) with Country Racing in NSW chairman Bob Pavitt present the trophy for the John Allen Memorial Handicap to Waiheke Island connection Peter Lynch.
IN MEMORIAL: John Allen's sons Mackenzie (centre) and Shannon (right) with Country Racing in NSW chairman Bob Pavitt present the trophy for the John Allen Memorial Handicap to Waiheke Island connection Peter Lynch. Jarrard Potter

On hand to present the trophy named after their dad were Mackenzie and Shannon Allen, who both said the race meant a lot to them.

"It's great to have this in memory of what John did, the races and Maclean Cup Day were a big part of his heart and soul and to be here and have this race named after him, it means a lot," Shannon said.

Country Racing in NSW chairman Bob Pavitt said John was a big supporter of the Clarence River Jockey Club, and while the racing fraternity missed John's presence at the Maclean Bowling Club calcutta on Saturday night, Mr Pavitt said Shannon did an excellent job to carry on the baton with the annual tradition.

The race was won by six-year-old gelding Waiheke Island, trained by Julie Lynch from Kempsey.



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