Allana Burns is someone I first met through Milano’s Fashions on the Field group. A mutual love of both horse racing and fashion brought us together, despite being on opposite sides of the country.
Living in Melbourne, Allana is a familiar face for those who attend the races in Melbourne. Being involved in both horse racing ownership and a love of racing fashion means she’s at the track as often as possible. When she’s not at the races, she’s spending time with her dog Tinkerbell and keeping active.
Allana has been a supporter of my blog since the start, especially with my weekly tips, so I’m excited to finally interview her!
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m a thoroughbred form analyst with a focus on Melbourne metropolitan race meetings. I have a passion for racing, fashion, beauty, fitness and health. I also work full time in finance.
How did you get into horse racing and then into ownership?
I was never a horse girl growing up. The first time I attended the races was around 10 years ago. To be honest I didn’t know what to expect but nothing could have prepared me for what I walked into and how it was going to change my life. I was instantly drawn into every aspect of racing – the horses, the excitement of racing, the fashion and the social side. Ownership came a little bit later. I was interested in purchasing a share in a horse but didn’t know where to start, or how much it would cost. I was introduced to Hancox Bloodstock who provide affordable syndicates of either 1 horse or a group of 7. The once off fee for the group of horses was very appealing and I signed up straight away – with my first runner debuting the following week! I have joined each group syndicate since.
What has been your favourite moment at the track? Both as an owner and then a racing fan.
As an owner it has to be Oaks Day 2019 when Star Missile won the Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Final. It was a fantastic experience to have a winner at my favourite track during Cup week! I was so proud of him and grateful to Greg Eurell for having him in such fantastic order, I also have to include Craig Williams who rode him to perfection. As a fan it’s hard to beat the Melbourne Cup. I attend every year and the atmosphere is electric. The crowd is excited and having fun, the drinks are flowing and it’s just such a great environment to be in. The moment when the field has loaded for the Melbourne Cup and the crowd goes silent before the barriers open always gives me goosebumps. It’s impossible to not get drawn into the emotion.
What made you decide to go with a syndicate rather than picking a horse and owing a small percentage?
To be honest it came down to my budget. I had a set budget in mind and as a new owner no ongoing fees meant I didn’t have to stress about upcoming bills or unpleasant surprise invoices. Many syndicates with larger ownership groups make the decisions on behalf of the owners. This reduces friction between owners and with their vast knowledge and experience in racing they can make a professional decision based on the best possible outcome. I have met so many amazing people through the syndicates and I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in being involved in a racehorse ownership.
You’re also a successful tipster, posting your tips weekly on MyPunter. How did you get involved in MyPunter?
I was contacted by MyPunter in 2018 to provide my tips for Saturday race meetings in Melbourne. At the time I was already focusing on these races and posting my selections on my website so it was an easy transition. I have been with them since & really enjoy it.
I talked the other week about things I look for when reading the form guide. Without revealing your secrets, what’s something that you always look for on paper?
Besides the general track/distance/track condition/barrier/jockey and weight allocation I look at gear changes, race conditions (is it a maiden, handicap, weight for age, black type, can apprentices claim, etc.) and speed maps. A speed map tells us how much speed is in the race so we can check which horses will be most suited.
When you’re at the races you always look fabulous! Where do you get your race wear inspiration from?
I have entered a few Fashions on the Field competitions which taught me a lot about putting together race day outfits and the seasoned FOTF girls have provided me with endless inspiration. For me it’s half the fun of attending the races and I do spend quite a lot of time on it. I guess it was, and still is, just a lot of trial and error. I have a very girly sense of style and I love colour – I struggle with winter fashion! I follow the rule of thumb of three colours per look and always wear millinery even if it’s just a simple headband.
What has been one of your favourite outfits to wear and why?
I would have to say my 2019 Melbourne Cup outfit. I bought the dress months beforehand the moment I saw it – pink, flowery, girly with a fishtail hemline & puffy sleeves. Then came the challenge of finding millinery & accessories. I was tired of the pink & red look so opted for something a bit different finally settling on lilac. I can always trust Jettah & Till to provide stunning millinery and she didn’t disappoint! I struggled to find a pair of shoes so I ended up painting a pair. I spent months getting the overall look just right and felt fabulous in it. I even got papped by Vogue!
For those looking to get involved in racing, what would you say/suggest?
Just jump into it. There’s no easy way but hard work will get you far as will honesty and kindness. There are a lot of lovely people in racing who will welcome new faces, please don’t be scared to reach out. I personally love meeting new people through racing whether it’s at the track or on social media. We all share the same interest and need to stick together!
What do you think has to change in racing in order for it to attract new people and to continue for years to come?
It’s fantastic to see welfare of the horses post racing career improving, it was a controversial and sensitive topic through spring and no doubt it unfortunately put a dent in the carnival. People love the animals and once they are aware the horses are being cared for & looked after once their career on the track is over I believe they will feel more comfortable attending the races. I would love to see the focus shift away from a party scene and become more affordable through the carnivals. We often see TV commercials for carnivals that don’t even show a single horse yet without them there are no races! We need to bring the focus back to the animals and make it affordable to walk through the gates.