Allen enjoys deserved home track success

By Jonny Turner

Steve Allen couldn’t have picked a better place to step into the spotlight with the win of Follow Me Fantasy at Oamaru yesterday.

Allen who has worked with hundreds of winners over his several decades in harness racing scored his third official win as a trainer when Follow Me Fantasy gained a deserved win for driver Matthew Williamson in race 3.

Allen has been a key cog at the Phil Williamson’s powerhouse trotting stable for more than two decades.

The trainer works Follow Me Fantasy and her stablemate Delightful Gloria at Oamaru racecourse, around his commitments at the Williamson stable.

Allen’s turn for some deserved recognition came after a wait of more than eight years, following his last training win with Xmas In New York at Forbury Park in 2019.

The win also came with Matthew Williamson in the sulky.

The trainer’s previous victory came 16 years prior at the same track with Devils Way, with Phil Williamson doing the driving.

Allen admitted seeing his mare breaking early before she settled down last meant he wasn’t thinking another win was likely at the start of race 3

But the outlook soon changed when Williamson sent the mare around the field to take the front after she had settled back into her gait.

“Once she hit her straps she was away, but it did look like a bit of a disaster for a bit.”

“I was really happy with that.”

“She has improved with racing, the racing has made her really – she is quite green.”

Aside from Williamson, Allen and wife Annette deserve all of the plaudits for Follow Me Fantasy’s win having bred, owned and trained the mare.

“I borrowed from Jo Townsend, Mike de Filippi’s daughter and I sent her to Highview Tommy to get something smallish because the mare is huge.”

“But has turned out big anyway.”

“That is why I have had to wait on her, but it has been good.”

Williamson doubled up at Oamaru when driving Wolfenstein to his own colours in race 9.

Got You Covered extended his outstanding record on grass tracks when taking out yesterday’s Waimate Cup.

Exactly a month since taking out the Waikouaiti Cup on the Oamaru grass, the Robert and Jenna Dunn trained pacer capitalised on a perfect run in the one-one from driver Robbie Close.

The Dunn stable produced the trifecta in the race with Dashing Major running second and Jimmy Arma third.

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