Redemption for determined Allan

Redemption for determined Allan

Shining Scot

David Allan

David Allan is the most successful foreign jockey of Indian racing. But on Sunday, he was restless to set a record straight. A regular here during winter meetings, the Scottish jockey’s only previous visit to the summer season had left him dejected. In the 2015 edition of the Kingfisher Ultra Derby, Allan, astride Desert God, was pushed to the second spot by rank outsider Angel Dust.   

The three-time Indian Derby champion, who reached the city from England on the morning of the big race, faced a tricky task of guiding Well Connected -- a filly of two starts -- in rainy conditions. And half-way through the race, Allan’s chances of making amends for his effort fours ago appeared bleak.  

But Allan showcased his class in the final furlong to produce a terrific show to beat A Sandesh-ridden Impavid on the post for the title. “This is a race I badly wanted to win. Last time here, I got beaten with Desert God. It was a horse that should have won. The loss was annoying me all these years,” Allan said after his victory. 

Allan, who owns the record of the winner of the highest number of classics in India for a foreign jockey, hardly had time to celebrate his special win. “I need to be in England tomorrow for a local racing meet where I will be competing in seven races,” he said with a smile. 

Well Connected’s victory on Sunday reaffirmed the status of trainer S Padmanabhan and Allan as one of the most decorated combinations of Indian racing. “If Virat Kohli calls up Bumrah (Jasprit) to bowl, the pacer often ends up giving a wicket to his captain. Our relationship is like that. It’s about implicit faith. I have won the Indian Derby and Invitation Cup with him. We are on the same page always and that’s helping us,” Padmanabhan said.

Allan heaped praise on the trainer. "It's been a fine association with Padmanabhan since 2009. We have got along well and the results are out there to be seen. I am glad they showed the trust in me for this race."