Darragh Allen has firmly established himself as a go-to rider on the Cork/Waterford circuit. The Araglen native reached a notable milestone at Ballindenisk last Sunday when riding out his five pound claim, partnering his 21st winner between-the-flags.
Allen has a wealth of experience behind him with almost 300 rides and with the backing of a number of stables, the 24-year-old should have no problem continuing his upward trajectory.
Next Generation | Rider
Name: Darragh Allen
Area: Araglen, Cork
Are you from a racing background?
My brother Sean rode in point-to-points and then at home we would always have had a few hunters and ponies around. I grew up hunting away and doing pony club.
How did you become involved in racing?
Through Sean and my cousin John Rice, who passed away a couple of years ago, he had a trainers licence, so between them and Pat O’Connor over in Ballyduff, I got going.
I did my leaving cert and then went to Michael Hourigan’s for a season before starting with Terence O’Brien.
Who are you based with now?
I ride out for Terence, Tom Keating and Donnchadh Duggan now. I have had plenty of rides for Terence and Donnchadh but I have just started riding for Tom this year, we had a chat earlier in the year about me coming in to ride out and then I rode my first winner for him last Sunday.
Pa and Paddy O’Leary have also been very good to me, they were lucky enough to get Western Man from Mr McManus and it’s been great to get a couple of wins out of him. He is very sound and he can run away there every couple of weeks.
You rode out your five pound claim last Sunday, there is a lot of riding in 21 winners, so it’s a great milestone to achieve?
Yeah it’s great, I was hoping to try and do it before Christmas, I had two winners to ride, so I was delighted, it was good to get the the horse, Rookie Trainer up in a close finish.
You have the likes of yourself, Luke Murphy, Johnny Hurley and Chris O’Donovan who started out around the same time and have shed their claims. Do you think it has been a help to establishing yourself?
The claim has definitely been a help to get rides, it encourages people to put you up, five pound is a lot when there is only a length at stake. I would be hoping that I am well enough established now to kick on without it.
What’s your take on the novice rider’s contest?
The novice riders’ races are also a help, I won a few of them and some of those were probably rides I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
What has been your best day’s riding?
I think Bartlemy last year with Donal Coffey, I won on Ask For Glory and he will hopefully go on to good things, he had a big price tag afterwards. Sunday was a great day as well, I think Tom’s horse is very good and it was great to ride out the claim.
What is your favourite track to ride at?
I would say Ballindenisk, I had my first two winner’s there as well so it has been a lucky track for me.
Have you ambitions for this season?
I don’t really set myself targets, just aiming to keep tipping away.
How about your plans for the future?
I will definitely stay riding in point-to-points and I would like to try and get a few track rides as well, but they are hard to get.
Who has been your biggest influence in racing or who would you look up to?
James Hannon would be a good help to me, I do a lot of schooling with him and he would give me plenty of advice.
Do you do any sport outside of racing?
I do a bit of soccer training with Kilworth Celtic a few evenings a week but I don’t get a chance to play any matches.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
I think the main thing it to try and get on with everyone and keep working away.
Next Generation | Rider - Darragh Allen— p2p.ie (@irishp2p) December 6, 2018
24-year-old, Darragh Allen rode his 21st winner between-the-flags last Sunday at Ballindenisk, shedding his five pound claim in the process. Read the full story here %u27A1%uFE0F https://t.co/rpBYqFu220 pic.twitter.com/m9DJpwyOiN