Kieren Fallon made it 13th time lucky on his return to the saddle when a late dash from Haydock to Wolverhampton tonight paid off as he won the William Hill 0800 444040 – Get 25 Free Bet Handicap.
The six-time champion Flat jockey’s five mounts on Merseyside all failed to provide him with that elusive success.
Fallon had been due for his 13th ride after returning from his three-year absence on British racecourses – due to a combination of the Old Bailey trial into alleged race-fixing, which ended in the judge ruling there was no case to answer, and an 18-month drugs suspension – in the previous event at Dunstall Park.
Traffic problems ruled him out of that, but he arrived in time to partner 7-2 favourite Our Kes – and the mare put him back in the winner’s enclosure for the first time since Dylan Thomas’ 2007 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victory.
Fallon said: “I had some good rides but at least now I can relax and ride proper races.
“It is a confidence thing – if you are not riding winners and have not done for the last couple of years, then you don’t have the confidence. But I hope it will build from here.
“I have said all along that even with all the homework and training you do, there is only one thing that can get you race-fit – and that is race-riding.
“It is fantastic and gives me a lot of confidence.”
Fallon was out of luck with his seven comeback rides on Friday, but the 44-year-old claims to have held up well under the rigours of race-riding.
He added: “I was surprised and could not believe it this morning – because I wasn’t stiff at all.
“I was mentally tired last night but I was fine physically.”