South Island Breeders' Stakes heroine La Fille En Jeu becomes the fifth winner of the day for Lisa Allpress.
After a frustrating summer on the sidelines, two-time premiership winner Lisa Allpress made a triumphant return at Riccarton today with five wins including the Gr. 3 Valachi Downs South Island Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes on La Fille En Jeu.
Allpress suffered a serious shoulder injury in a jumpout fall in October, and she could only watch as regular mounts such as Scott Base and Ladies First shone brightly through the following four months.
She returned to riding with four mounts at Waipukurau on Thursday, then headed south to Riccarton this afternoon for her second day back in the saddle. From just six rides, she picked up five wins and a second.
“It’s been an amazing day, I can’t believe it,” Allpress told www.theinformant.co.nz. “I’m really stoked.
“It was a hard five months after the fall, but I worked hard to get back. To have a day like this in my second day back riding is incredible.
“I wasn’t sure about coming down today – the flights were very expensive, and I’m still quite early in my comeback and didn’t want to take too many rides.
“Nigel (Auret, trainer) wanted me to ride his mare, and I ended up with six, which I thought would at least cover the expenses. Five wins is beyond what I expected.”
In today’s $80,000 fillies and mares’ feature, Allpress sent La Fille En Jeu to the lead within the first 150 metres of the 1600-metre contest. She went for gold at the top of the straight, opening up a commanding four-length lead.
Elfee made a late run down the outside for the in-form Pitman stable, but could only close the margin to a long neck as La Fille En Jeu scored an all-the-way win.
It was a deserved first black-type win for the Mettre En Jeu mare, who has now won eight of her 31 starts and more than $139,000 in prize-money.
She had previously finished second in the Listed Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes in February, along with fourth placings in this season’s Gr. 3 Spring Sprint, Gr. 2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes and Gr. 3 Cuddle Stakes.
“It’s a huge thrill,” said Auret, who also bred and owns the mare in partnership with his wife Adaire.
“She’s been only about two lengths behind them all season, and today’s her day.”