Leicester double keeps Fallon in title chase

WINS from Jack’s Revenge and Franciscan at Leicester saw Kieren Fallon erode Paul Hanagan’s lead in the jockeys’ championship to seven.

Fallon has spoken in recent days about his enjoyment of the competition with Hanagan and Silvestre De Sousa as he rides in as many races as possible from Group One contenders to platers.

The options in Oadby were more of a humdrum variety and he kicked off by forcing George Baker’s 8-13 favourite Jack’s Revenge home in the Stoat Selling Stakes.

The heat was taken last year by Marsh Warbler, who became a very high-class juvenile hurdler, but there were no bids for Jack’s Revenge at the subsequent auction.

Fallon also had to keep the Luca Cumani-trained Franciscan (11-4) up to his task to close out the Quorn Handicap.

- JAMES TOLLER has booked Johnny Murtagh to ride his star performer Saigon in the Emaar Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

The juvenile won his first two racecourse starts and has done little wrong since being stepped up to Pattern company, running creditably in the Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood before being placed in the Sirenia Stakes and the Mill Reef.

Kirsty Milczarek has done the steering on all five starts but Toller has snapped up the services of Murtagh.

“Saigon has come out of his last race and seems in very good form. I hope the ground remains on the fast side as he has shown his best form on top of the ground,” said Toller.

“Obviously, it is a tough race but I think he deserves to take his chance and he will definitely have an each-way chance.

“We have booked Johnny Murtagh for the ride – you need the best in these races.”

- RICHARD HUGHES will take over the reins on Keys in Saturday’s Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket.

Jamie Spencer guided the four-year-old to July victories at Newbury and Ascot, but he is due to ride Dance And Dance in America on the same day.

David Pipe also revealed jockey plans for his three contenders, with William Buick booked for Beyond, Joseph O’Brien taking the mount of Tasheba and apprentice Kieran O’Neill called up for Big Occasion.

Pipe’s father, Martin, saddled Heros Fatal (2000) and Miss Fara (2002) to win the famous staying handicap in recent years.

- EDWARD LYNAM has revealed his star performer Sole Power suffered a fall in Paris in the days leading up to his luckless run in Sunday’s Prix de l’Abbaye.

The four-year-old encountered traffic problems during the five-furlong dash before sprouting wings in the final furlong to finish a close-up third.

Lynam feels his charge would have won with a clearer passage and believes there is even more merit in his performance given how sore the gelding was following his tumble on Friday.

“He was very sore and he had to walk for around seven hours a day in the two days leading up to the race when really he should have been resting. We had to walk him to try to get the swelling down and he’s run a fantastic race considering.

Although Sole Power will not line up in the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot on Saturday week, he could still run again before his winter break, with a trip to Hong Kong a definite option.

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