John Allen completes Adelaide Group 1 set

John Allen last week reminded everyone of his affinity for South Australia with Australasian Oaks success and on Saturday the jockey completed the Adelaide Group 1 quaddie with victory in the $500,000 Robert Sangster Stakes.

The Irishman is now a part of the select band of riders to have won all four Group 1 races run in South Australia after combining with Ruthless Dame to win Saturday’s 1200-metre event for fillies and mares.

The Oaks win on Affaire A Suivre was his first in Adelaide’s premier fillies event, having previously won the South Australian Derby four times, while he also won the 2020 The Goodwood aboard Trekking.

“I’ve always enjoyed coming down here, Morphettville is a track that has been very special to me and it’s great to knock off the set,” Allen said.

Ruthless Dame came with a powerful finish from the second half of the field to round up her rivals in the Sangster Stakes.

After reeling in leader Seradess at the 100m, the daughter of Tavistock – who started $14 with unibet – was then forced to hold off a challenge from local filly Another Award ($41) and did so by three quarters of a lengths.

Zapateo ($4) charged late to grab third placing, just a head back, marginally in advance of Chain Of Lightning ($19).

“When I travelled into it and we were there at the top of the straight, I knew she’d be strong through the line,” Allen said.

“Turning in, I was pretty confident.”

Ruthless Dame was clearly the most lightly-raced runner in the Sangster Stakes, having had just five previous starts, and atoned for a Group 1 near-miss in the Surround Stakes two starts earlier.

This campaign is only her second, having suffered from a bout of pneumonia after winning her first two starts early last year, and Ciaron Maher was full of praise for the filly he trains in partnership with David Eustace.

“She got really sick and that was why she had the long time off,” Maher said.

“When you get that sort of sickness you can (lose them), but thankfully the vets did a great job and got her back.”

Ruthless Dame’s win made it back-to-back Group 1 wins in Adelaide for Maher and Eustace, who train Affaire A Suivre, while it was also their second-straight Sangster win having prepared Snapdancer to win last year’s edition.

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