Share On

David Allan and the unbeaten 'Indian Frankel' bidding for Derby glory - By Jack Haynes I Racingpost

Posted on - 17 Jan 2019

David Allan and the unbeaten 'Indian Frankel' bidding for Derby glory
By Jack Haynes
David Allan has this winter enhanced his reputation as the most successful foreign jockey in India's racing history, most notably aboard 2,000 Guineas winner Sir Cecil – labelled the ‘Indian Frankel’ by the rider and named after the late legendary Newmarket trainer.
Allan will bid for a fourth Indian Derby victory aboard the Sadakshara Padmanabhan-trained Sir Cecil – a four-time local Grade 1 winner and unbeaten in eight starts – at Mumbai on February 3.
In a strange twist of fate Sir Cecil's main danger Adjudicate is trained by James McKeown, son of Lady Cecil and stepson of the late Sir Henry Cecil.
Allan surpassed £1 million in prize-money for the first time and rode a personal-best 76 winners in his best year in Britain in 2018 before heading to India in late November for a tenth winter spell.
Allan said: "Sir Cecil is the best horse in India – he won the Guineas in Mumbai and will go for the Indian Derby. He’s named after Sir Henry and he’s the Indian Frankel – that’s actually what I call him. He’s won easily each time and is the horse everyone has to beat.
"I’m flying along and riding some of the top horses in India, so it’s going very well. The style of racing is quite different here – they tend to go a lot faster early on and you have to be on the ball otherwise you get found out. It makes you sharper."
Allan replaced former champion apprentice Sandy Barclay as the most successful foreign rider in India last year and continues to enjoy the lifestyle and rewards for his international endeavour.
He said: "I'm racing a couple of times a week and flying around to those meetings but on the other days I get to play golf – my main hobby – after morning work so I’m quite happy with that! It without doubt beats a winter on the all-weather.
"It’s miles better financially to come out here during the winter, and Tim [Easterby] doesn’t run too many on the all-weather."
Allan will return from India, where Irish jockeys Leigh Roche and Robbie Downey are plying their trade this winter, around a week before the start of the Flat turf campaign, with Bahrain Trophy winner Wells Farhh Go among the horses he is looking forward to riding.
Allan said: "It was such a shame he missed the Derby and St Leger but we just had a bit of bad luck with setbacks and timings. Stamina is his strong point so he could go for the Cup races over the stayers’ distances this season and hopefully everything goes right with him." 
Allan teamed up with McKeown to land the Calcutta Derby with Adjudicate on Sunday, with Lady Cecil there to witness the local Grade 1 success.
McKeown, who spent nine years as an assistant to Padmanabhan, said: "If it wasn’t for Sir Cecil, Adjudicate would win the Indian Derby comfortably but Sir Cecil is a very good horse and the best India has produced in 20 years.
"Sir Cecil is very dominant but Adjudicate is improving and it will be close.
"It was clear from the early days on the farm Sir Cecil was going to be out of the ordinary and so connections opted for the name. They would have preferred Sir Henry, but that had been used previously."

Please Comment Below


Can't read the image? click here to refresh.