Sprinter Oxted gives elated Cieren Fallon first Royal Ascot victory

CIEREN Fallon recorded his first Royal Ascot winner in spectacular style when Oxted came from near-last to land the King’s Stand Stakes.

Oxted ridden by jockey Cieren Fallon celebrates winning the King's Stand Stakes during day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse.
Oxted ridden by jockey Cieren Fallon celebrates winning the King's Stand Stakes during day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse.

Fallon, whose father Kieren was the six-times champion jockey, was ice-cool – he realised the early pace was ferocious and then pounced on the star sprinter who was providing trainer Roger Teal with a first success at the meeting.

And he was quick to pay tribute to the horse who provided him with a first Group One when landing last summer’s Darley July Cup at Newmarket over six furlongs.

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Yet the drop back in distance to five furlongs, the minimum distance, paid off in a blistering race that saw 2020 hero Battaash fourth with the John Quinn pair of Keep Busy and Liberty Beach fifth and sixth respectively.

Jockey Cieren Fallon celebrates winning the King's Stand Stakes on Oxted.

A visibly overjoyed Fallon said: “It meant a lot. It’s Royal Ascot. It’s a Group One race. They don’t come much bigger than this – it’s a dream come true.

“Crossing that line, I never thought I’d get a feeling like it. What a feeling. Dropping back to a stiff five was always going to suit. There was a lot of pace in the race. With all the pace on, I thought I’d take my time, get him into a nice rhythm, get him balanced and it’s paid off.

“He was very impressive. The July Cup last year wasn’t a fluke. He’s a proper Group One horse and all credit to the team for changing it round from his last two races.”

Of partnering a winner at this fixture, he said: “It obviously means a lot to ride a winner here and keep up the family tradition, there’s a lot of pressure with people always asking questions about it.

Oxted ridden by jockey Cieren Fallon celebrates winning the King's Stand Stakes during day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse.

“I’m thankful and grateful for all these opportunities and hopefully I keep progressing.

“I was on the phone to my dad when I was walking the course after the first race, he was telling me where to go and obviously I spoke to Roger and everything went according to plan.”

Meanwhile Juan Elcano took the Wolferton Stakes for Hambleton trainer Kevin Ryan and jockey Andrea Atzeni.