Another Derby for top pairing

John Allen

John Allen

Trainer Darren Weir and jockey John Allen have made it back-to-back South Australian Derby victories, with Volatile Mix taking out the Classic at Morphettville.

Weir and Allen combined 12 months ago to win the 2500m three-year-old staying race with Howard Be Thy Name who went in as one of the favoured runners after taking out two key lead-ups.

It was a slightly different story this time around, with Volatile Mix sent out a $16 chance on Saturday when upsetting his more fancied Victorian rivals Ruthven ($4) and Odeon ($3.20) who filled the minor placings.

The win was Weir's eighth at the elite level this season, a tally he shares with Sydney's premier trainer Chris Waller.

The Ciaron Maher-trained Ruthven pressed forward to be outside the lead after being caught wide early in the race and he kicked clear early in the straight.

Favourite Odeon loomed to win and appeared to hit the front at the 200m before fading to finish third, 2-1/4 lengths from Volatile Mix who finished strongest on the outside to beat Ruthven by a half length.

There was pre-race drama with two horses, Waging War and Docker Pav, scratched after playing up in the barriers.

Volatile Mix has now won three of his nine starts for prizemoney in excess of $400,000.

The son of Pentire’s last success before Saturday came at Ballarat in March when he claimed victory in a benchmark 64 event over 1600m.

The win caps a sensational few weeks for the Irish national Allen, who won the Grand Annual Steeplechase aboard Regina Coeli and Galleywood Hurdle on Renew among seven individual winners at the three-day Warrnambool carnival.

Allen just missed winning the group 1 South Australian Oaks with Kenedna – also trained by Weir – last weekend.

He has ridden 79 winners from 486 rides this racing season.

For Weir, the win with Volatile Mix came on a day when he didn’t prepare any other winners across metropolitan and country meetings.