Ben Allen has always been known for his timing and that ability was surely on display at Caulfield on Saturday with the apprentice enjoying a most timely double.
Ben Allen and Guizot, picture Quentinjlang.com
Allen, 19, was forced to miss five weeks of racing after fracturing a heel but it took him just 14 days into his comeback to land his first metropolitan double with faultless rides aboard his only two mounts for the day - Guizot in Race 3 and the promising stayer Mount Kilcoy in Race 6.
"It's good to get back into it with a couple of winners and hopefully next week I can pick up a few more rides," Allen said.
"It's leading up to carnival time so you've got to be in form or you are going to struggle."
Allen, who has long out-ridden his claim, turned in possibly the ride of the day aboard Mount Kilcoy in the 2000-metre Ladbrokes Cash In Handicap.
After settling the horse early in the race, Allen found the rump of the $2.25 favourite Masculino and he tracked that horse right to the home turn. At that point, he pulled out from behind Masculino and raced clear to win by two lengths.
As usual, Allen was taking little credit for the win on a horse that has never been further back than second in his five career starts.
"It just worked out good for us the way the race was run and the horse settled and did for pretty much the whole race," he said.
"It made it very easy for me. I just had to steer it and it ran away and won well.
"I think it might need a bit of softness in the track. The track was firm out there and he probably didn't like it.
"He raced well on it but I think a bit of cut out, he'll be a better horse. He's a nice stayer on the rise."
Trainer Darren Weir agreed with the young rider's assessment - 'he's a beauty this horse' - but also noticed just how well he was ridden.
"He really relished the step-up in trip and got some sort of ride today," Weir said.
Weir said he will search for a 2400-metre race for the son of High Chaparral for his next assignment.
"We bought him as a staying horse and he had a lovely run last week and probably should have won but I supposed it ended up being a good bring-on run for today - being able to back-up without having too hard a run," he said.
"I loved the way he switched off. He's just been a bit of a keen-going horse. He's finally really starting to switch off and obviously if they are going to get over a trip, they need to switch off."
Ladbrokes Odds Boost Handicap, photo finish picture Racing.com