Jockey Larry Allen and the late Theodore-based trainer Mick Hanlon deep in thought after another winner at Callaghan Park in January, 1981.
Jockey Larry Allen and the late Theodore-based trainer Mick Hanlon deep in thought after another winner at Callaghan Park in January, 1981.

Racing industry mourns loss of celebrated Rocky jockey

In particular, senior Rockhampton racing followers and Queensland industry stakeholders as a whole, will be saddened to hear of the passing of jockey Larry Allen who was a leading figure at Callaghan Park in the late '70s and '80s.

Brisbane-based Allen, 66, long retired from jockeying, died in a Brisbane hospital on Sunday after fighting cancer.

A natural lightweight, he came from a racing family, with his father Neville and brother Terry successful Brisbane jockeys.

Allen is best remembered in Rockhampton for winning the 1976 Rockhampton Cup on Lumley Fair.

For many years he combined at Callaghan Park feature Saturday race meetings on the old sand track with the prolific winning Theodore-based trainer Mick Hanlon.

They struck up a most successful association and retired jockey Wally Welburn relates that Allen married one of Mick's daughters.

While his name is instantly recognised with success in Rockhampton, that pales into insignificance compared to Allen's feats on the Gold Coast.

He was one of the first jockeys to be awarded the moniker of "King of the Gold Coast", a worthy title also bestowed on crown holders Ken Russell and Daniel Griffin.

Twice during the mid-80s, Larry Allen won the Gold Coast jockeys premierships.

In fact, Allen remains one of less than a handful of jockeys to have ridden six winners in a day on a major Queensland track.

Not surprisingly, he recorded this remarkable feat on the Gold Coast on November 17, 1984, winning on Dandy Miss, Alchera, Amboina, Burano, Lunch With Reeta and Cruise Missile.

His only other ride that day in York Street ran third.

Mick Dittman (Eagle Farm, November 1, 1977) and Michael Rodd (Sunshine Coast, October 26, 2003) also accomplished the same rare exploit of half a dozen winners on the same program.

While it may not be well known, Allen also won three races on the champion Vo Rogue in 1986.

He replaced regular rider Cyril Small through suspension and naturally, two of the Allen-Vo Rogue wins were at the Gold Coast and the other at Doomben.

Jockeys riding at the Rockhampton Jockey Club's race meeting at Callaghan Park on Saturday will carry black armbands as a mark of respect for Allen, gone but not forgotten.

Larry Allen's funeral will be held in Brisbane on Thursday.



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