FORMER champion jockey Kieren Fallon has warned that low prize money levels in British racing will lead to corruption among riders struggling to stay afloat.
In an interview with the Irish Examiner to be published tomorrow, Fallon also hit out at the racing authorities in England over his recent week-long ban and said the punishment he received for not riding a horse out to be second didn’t fit the “crime”.
The Co Clare native missed the lucrative Guineas meeting at Newmarket last weekend as a result. He is due to ride Recital in Sunday’s Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial for his one-time employer Aidan O’Brien.
He said this week that the powers-that-be should do something about improving prize money at the lower levels of the sport.
“I’m one of the lucky ones, you know what I mean? I have good stables to ride for, got good owners and during the summer the prize money in England is okay,” he said.
“But the boys that are riding on the all-weather, they’re struggling to make a living. They’re struggling to pay a mortgage over there.
“If you won a two grand race, 6.5%, that’s all you get. How much is that, if you win? It’s not a lot. What it’s doing is it’s encouraging corruption in racing.”
And he said he is still in the hunt for this year’s jockeys’ championship but it’s likely to be his last all-out assault on the title.
“If I don’t do it this year I’m not going to bother. No. It’s hard work.”
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