Tony Allan’s long wait for a milestone victory has come to an end.
The Melbourne Cup-winning jockey’s comeback to riding this year was crowned at Te Aroha on Wednesday when he rode the 1000th New Zealand winner of his career.
Allan made the trip north from Levin for just one ride and his dedication was rewarded when he was successful aboard the Clint Isdale-trained Aigne in a 2200m maiden.
“It’s a relief and it couldn’t have come at a nicer place than Te Aroha,” Allan said.
The 51-year-old won the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on giant New Zealand mare Empire Rose in 1988 and in 2005 bowed out after racking up 998 wins.
He moved to Japan that year to work as a track rider, which he said allowed him to work through some personal issues, and following a stint in Sydney working for Peter and Paul Snowden he returned home in May.
Allan rode his first winner back on Mr Cool Boy at Waverley in June and, despite a lean spell since, he never doubted his own ability.
“To get to 1000 wins was always the goal and I’m happy to have done it,” he said. “I’ve always believed I could do it, I’m very happy with my riding.”