Bookies expecting Fallon fever

BOOKMAKERS are under orders to expect the Fallon factor when the former champion jockey makes his eagerly-anticipated return to the saddle tomorrow.

It has been more than three years since Kieren Fallon last rode on these shores.

The six-time champion’s has been absent from British racecourses since July 2006 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 imposed by the French authorities.

The long wait is almost over though and the 44-year-old’s demand and determination will be in evidence from day one of his comeback as he will take seven rides at two meetings, all for different trainers.

“Having been champion jockey six times and won 15 British Classics, Kieren Fallon had a huge following amongst punters before his suspension, and despite his well-publicised run-ins with the racing authorities, we expect him to be just as popular in betting shops up and down the country when he makes his comeback,” said Coral spokesman David Stevens.

“He’s booked for seven rides at Lingfield and Kempton on his first day back and we expect all his mounts to be extremely well-backed, with punters hoping he can make a winning return to the saddle.

“One Fallon winner would cost the bookies a small fortune, were he to win all seven races, we would face the biggest payout since Frankie Dettori’s ‘magnificent seven’ at Ascot 13 years ago.”

Betfred’s quote of 500,000-1 about Fallon emulating the Italian’s feat could prove more popular than their 7-4 for him to have a fruitless Friday.

The same firm also go 5-1 about him picking up a riding ban at either meeting while Stan James go 12-1 he gets a suspension from either set of stewards.

Stan James head of PR Charlie McCann said: “Whether Fallon has truly exorcised his demons only time will tell, but nobody would deny his ability in the saddle.

“We make one winner from his seven booked mounts the 5-4 favourite and make the Irishman a 5-2 shot to draw a blank.”

Newmarket trainer Amy Weaver provides Fallon with his first ride back on Rare Malt in the opening Withyham Median Auction Maiden Stakes at Lingfield (2.20).

Tarporley handler Pat Morris then supplies Fallon with the mount on Roodee King in the Holtye Median Auction Maiden Stakes (3.20).

The Terry Mills-trained Diriculous in the Burstow Handicap (3.50) and Satwa Gold for Newmarket-based Ed Dunlop in the Felbridge Handicap (4.50) complete Fallon’s four rides at the Surrey venue.

He then makes the short journey to Kempton for their evening all-weather fixture, where he has picked up three rides, all for Newmarket trainers.

He is on Wigan Lane for Paul Howling in the Celtic Contractors Nursery (6.20), followed by the two-year-old newcomer Arte Viva for Gerard Butler in the Celtic Contractors EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes (7.50).

He winds up a hectic first day back by teaming up with his former boss Sir Michael Stoute on Bugaku in the Celtic Contractors Handicap (8.50).

Morris had hoped Fallon would also ride Secret Millionaire at Lingfield but has had to scrap that plan as that race has been put back from 2.50 to the end of the re-jigged card at 5.50 to accommodate a divided handicap.

“Unfortunately they have made the decision to move Secret Millionaire’s race to end of the meeting which means Kieren can’t ride him, I can’t believe it,” said the trainer.

“He does ride Roodee King and he has a good chance in a very ordinary race. It’s a poor race but a winnable race.

“We use Richard Hughes and Jamie Spencer whenever we can, but they are banned. Kieren Fallon is not bad, so we thought we’d use him!”


Easy and cost-effective ways you can spruce up your home. By Carol O’CallaghanStaying in is the new going out: Easy and cost-effective ways to spruce up your home

Need a funny, hopeful read? Hannah Stephenson rounds up the best.10 uplifting books to cheer you up on dark days

Esther N McCarthy put the call out to Irish crafters and grafters this week. Let's support our local makers, all of these are available onlineWish List: Supporting Irish crafters selling online

Shane Johnson takes a look (and listen) at two recent electronic full-lengths.Album reviews: Wajatta and Takeleave provide beats and pieces

More From The Irish Examiner