Promising stayer Yogi (NZ) (Raise The Flag) provided jockey John Allen with his first success at Flemington when he recorded a narrow victory in Saturday’s $120,000 1 Oliver St Plate (2500m).
Allen had to pull out all the stops aboard the Darren Weir-trained stayer, who narrowly prevailed following a 200m neck-and-neck struggle against stable mate Chequered Flag.
Allen said it was a relief to get a winner at Flemington following four top-three placings from his previous 18 rides at Australia’s premier racecourse.
“We had to make a long run around them and from a long way out and thank god he put his head down,” Allen said.
“He (Yogi) is a really laid-back character and in some ways it’s hard work for me but it’s probably good for him because he saves all his energy in the run.
“He came under pressure at the 600 and I had to keep at him but once he got to the outside in the straight I always thought he was going to run them down and we only just got there but we got there anyway.”
Managing owner Darren Dance was full of praise for Allen’s handling of the five-year-old son of Raise The Flag.
“Johnny Allen rode him really well,” Dance said.
“I must have told him five times to make sure he’s the widest and to put the whip in the left (hand).
“As he goes up in grade I’m not sure he can continue to give them these starts and be competitive, he’s a horse that needs everything to go his way.” -racing.com
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