KIEREN Fallon is excited about riding on the same card as his son, Cieren, at Doncaster today.
The six-time champion jockey makes his return to the saddle in the Mondialiste Leger Legends race on board North Yorkshire trainer Nigel Tinkler’s Kilbaha Lady.
Proceeds will be split between Doncaster’s National Horseracing College – it has been recently renamed – and Jack Berry House, the Injured Jockeys Fund rehab complex in Malton. The likes of Sir Anthony McCoy, Mick Kinane, Joseph O’Brien, Charlie Swan and jockeys supremo Dale Gibson are on the Legends roll of honour and Fallon, famed for his competitiveness, would love to add his name to the list.
Fallon retired in 2016, but has been riding out regularly for Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor. He is also due to take part in a similar event at the Curragh on Sunday – the Pat Smullen Champions Race for Cancer Trials Ireland.
But it is the prospect of sharing the weighing room with his champion apprentice-elect son which Fallon is most pleased about.
Fallon said: “Obviously I’m looking forward to the race, but I never once thought I’d get the chance to ride on the same card as Cieren, so I’m very excited about being able to do that. He’s been telling me I should come out of retirement!
“Also I’m really looking forward to Sunday and going back over to Ireland for a cause which is very worthwhile. This is far from a warm-up, though. It would be great if we could both ride a winner on the same afternoon, that would be something to treasure.”
Fallon jnr, who recorded the biggest win of his career to date when prevailing on Time To Study at Haydock last Saturday, also has a ride for Tinkler on day one of the William Hill St Leger Festival after being booked to partner Roundhay Park in the concluding Parkes Bros Roofing Contractors Handicap.
The Fallon-Tinkler relationship goes back a long way with Julie Fallon, ex-wife of Kieren and mother of Cieren, working for the trainer in the past.
Tinkler said: “Kieren looks as fit now as when he was riding – he looks in great shape. I’m delighted to have him riding for us as he’s ridden a good few winners for us in the past and his wife rode for us, too.
“Kilbaha Lady ran very well at Newcastle last time to finish second and she seems well in herself. Hopefully, she goes to Doncaster with a good each-way chance.”
Of Fallon jnr, the trainer added: “He’s got a different style to his father, but he’s certainly a very good rider.”
Noel Fehily rides course and distance winner Hammer Gun for trainer Derek Shaw. Fehily retired in March after a stellar career, during which he rode more than 1,000 National Hunt winners – including in the King George VI Chase and the Champion Hurdle.
Fehily said: “I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle. The horse has some decent form to his name and he’s a course a distance winner.
“So, hopefully, he’ll run well – I just hope the jockey doesn’t blow up.”
Andrew Thornton has helped organise the Leger Legends races and is hoping to time his effort better than when second on Les Eyre’s Detachment 12 months ago. The Gold Cup-winning jockey partners the same trainer’s Valley Of Fire.
Grand National-winning jockey Timmy Murphy is on board John Quinn’s Ascot Week, while TV presenter Luke Harvey partners Richard Fahey’s Windsor Cross.
Fahey saddles two runners, with Sammy Jo Bell on board Dubai Acclaim for her former boss.
Ollie Pears trains and rides Placebo Effect, while Brian Harding – winner of the race two years ago – is on board Tim Easterby’s One To Go.
The field of 16 runners is completed by Destroyer (Colin Bolger), Dream Walker (Jamie Mackay), Elusive Heights (Gary Bardwell), Kannapolis (Barry Keniry), Poet’s Pride (Charlie Poste), Sands Chorus (Victoria Smith), Whatwouldyouknow (Derek McGaffin) and Flying Dragon (Adrian Nicholls).
Southern France has been supplemented for the Comer Group International Irish St. Leger at the Curragh.
The four-year-old is set to have his last race in the care of Aidan O’Brien on Sunday, after being sold by Coolmore to Australian connections with the aim of going for the Melbourne Cup.
Third in last year’s St Leger at Doncaster, Southern France won the Irish St. Leger Trial at the Curragh last month.