Frankie Dettori described Kieren Fallon as a “ferocious competitor”
PICTURE: Getty Images
By David Milnes 7:51PM 4 JUL 2016
SIR MICHAEL STOUTE, Frankie Dettori and Richard Hughes were yesterday among many to pay tribute to Kieren Fallon following the shock news he has quit the saddle.
Fallon was stable jockey to Stoute at the turn of the century and rode five British Classic winners for him, including two Epsom Derby winners.
Stoute said: “Kieren had a power that could propel horses to go faster than they thought they could. A very gifted rider and a horse lover. I wish him well and thank him for his great contribution to the stable.”
Dettori said: “I’ve known and ridden alongside Kieren for the past 30 years. He’s always been at the top of my list as the most ferocious competitor, and over the years we’ve gained great respect for each other. It’s sad to see Kieren finish and I wish him all the best.”
Ex-jockey Hughes, now a trainer, said: “It’s sad news as Kieren has been a good friend for many years and I feel for him. For a man of his calibre the mounts he’s been getting just lately would make anyone depressed, but I wish him all the best. I quit the saddle when I was 42 so for him to keep going until he’s 51 has been a great achievement.”
Richard Hills was a weighing room colleague for more than 20 years and the former rider said: “We had some great times together. His best attribute was that he was a real gentleman in a race. If you were on heels and asked him for room he’d give it straight away. One of the greatest tussles we had was when he got up my inner on Golan in the King George, when I was riding Nayef. I got him back in the Juddmonte next time!”
Fallon enjoyed many memorable moments in the colours of Saeed Suhail, notably when landing the Derby on Kris Kin in 2003, and had what turned out to be his last ride in a Classic in the same blue and yellow silks on Across The Stars in last month’s Derby.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to Suhail, and to Saaed Manana, who provided Fallon with his final Classic win on Night Of Thunder in the 2,000 Guineas in 2014, said: “It’s sad Kieren is retiring in these circumstances as he’s a good man.
“He’s always had his demons but I thought he should have come back to Newmarket, where he has a lot of friends. Winning the Derby was a highlight, as was Night Of Thunder in the 2,000 Guineas when they beat Kingman. The best ride of his I saw was when he won on Fantastic Light in the Sheema Classic. He wasn’t for stopping that night.”
Read Tuesday’s Racing Post for full reaction to the retirement of Kieren Fallon, available on iPad now