John Allen has made the most of a pick-up ride on the Darren Weir-trained Social Spin, guiding the lightly raced two-year-old gelding to an all-the-way win at Sandown.
Brad Rawiller was booked to ride Social Spin in Wednesday’s Ladbrokes Protest Payout Handicap (1400m) but Allen got the call up on race morning, with Rawiller missing the meeting due to illness.
Connections notified stewards Social Spin would be ridden more forward from his wide draw.
Allen pushed him up before eventually crossing to lead and from there Social Spin was able to dictate terms.
Social Spin, a half-brother to a dual Group Two winner La Passe, gave a kick early in the straight to open up a winning break and had 1-3/4-lengths to spare on the line over So You Swing, with Bricktop another half-length away.
“The plan wasn’t necessarily to lead but when he jumped so well and we were able to lead so easily I did,” Allen said.
“It’s never a disadvantage to lead around the Lakeside (course), so once I got there and was comfortable I was pretty happy.
“He relaxed well, gave a good kick at the top of the straight and it was always in safe keeping.
“He’s a nice, big scopey horse and he should keep improving.”
Social Spin has now won two of his four starts having broken his maiden at Swan Hill first-up this preparation last month before finishing second in Adelaide before Wednesday’s victory.