CIEREN Fallon may not have taken much interest in his famous father’s career growing up – but he is already proving he has inherited plenty of his talents and will be crowned champion apprentice this weekend.
Less than two years after having his first ride in public, the son of six-time champion Kieren Fallon will celebrate the accolade on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot tomorrow.
Though the 20-year-old has a way to go to match the CV of his dad – which includes three Derby triumphs among more than 2,000 winners in a career lasting more than 25 years – he has set his sights on emulating those achievements over time.
Fallon jnr said: “I gave zero attention to my dad’s career. The only time I’ve really watched him is in the big races on YouTube. I never realised what he was doing.
“I think it will only push me (his father’s achievements) as we are very competitive in everything we do. I always want to beat him, so he has set me good targets to aim for.
“If you want only one championship and one Derby and you achieve that, what do you do next? So I’ve set big targets and goals to keep pushing me all the way and hopefully I can achieve everything he has.”
With his mother Julie also being a former jockey, a career in racing may have looked an obvious path for Wigan-born Fallon to take but it was only after a phone call to his father two years ago that he nailed his colours to a sport his family have excelled in.
Fallon – who is attached to the yard of Yorkshire-born William Haggas – said: “Mum was very surprised, but she was happy that I had got my qualifications behind me just in case, as we all know what can happen. She was 50-50 on the idea and supported me all the way.
“He (Fallon) was more shocked than anyone as it was out of a surprise phone call. He was happy inside, he didn’t really show it at the time but he has been very supportive and helped me along the way.”
Though the self-confessed fitness freak will soon join a roll of honour that includes the likes of Frankie Dettori, Ryan Moore, Paul Hanagan and Oisin Murphy, it is an accolade Fallon has achieved earlier than expected after a protracted tussle with the equally talented Sean Davis who is attached to Richard Fahey’s Malton yard.
He added: “I was about 16 winners behind Sean (Davis) and it never really crossed my mind, it was only when I was about two winners behind him I really thought I might be able to win it so it got me excited.”
Fallon lists his victories in this year’s Portland Handicap at Doncaster on St Leger Day on Oxted, and Time To Study’s Old Borough Cup victory at Haydock, as his two highlights as well as his blossoming association with the aforementioned Haggas.
Fallon said: “I’m very lucky to be in the position I am with a great boss that helps me behind the scenes. Not only has he been a boss but a mentor, and Maureen (Haggas, wife) has as well.
“I’ve only had one job in racing and that is with him and I’ve a real big connection with the boss. He has brought me up very well and looked after me.
“Mr Haggas has said a lot of good things about me and that has helped me build on the outside rides that I’ve got.”
Not one to rest on his laurels, Fallon – who will spend the winter in America based with Grade One-winning trainer Christophe Clement – is already looking to strengthen his links with Haggas next season as he attempts to achieve one simple aim: to ride more winners than this year.