Arlington Million

Kieren Fallon

Kieren Fallon was born Feb. 22, 1965, the son of a plasterer, in Crusheen, Co. Clare, Ireland. Hails from a family with no racing connections but joined trainer Kevin Prendergast on his 17th birthday. His first winner was Picadilly Lord at Navan on June 18, 1984. In 1988, he moved across the Irish Sea to become apprentice to Yorkshire trainer Jimmy Fitzgerald. In 1993, he accepted the job as first jockey to trainer Lynda Ramsden and he got the association off to a perfect start by landing the Lincoln Handicap aboard High Premium. But, just as his career seemed set to take off, he was banned for six months for dragging fellow jockey Stuart Webster off his horse after the finish of a race at Beverley in Sept. 1994. Mrs. Ramsden stuck by him and by 1996 he was beginning to get some high-class outside rides with trainers like Michael Stoute and William Haggas.

In Aug. 1996, he got his big break when appointed stable jockey to nine-time champion trainer Henry Cecil. Fallon has barely looked back since then and survived a tricky moment when heavily criticized by Cecil for his riding of Bosra Sham in the 1997 Coral Eclipse Stakes.

Won his first classic aboard Sleepytime in that year's 1,000 Guineas, and went on to land the Oaks on Reams of Verse. Fallon quickly became a sought-after big-race jockey in Europe and guided Borgia to victory in the Grosser Preis von Baden (G1). He rounded off the year with his first Breeders' Cup mount, an inspired second-place ride on Borgia.

Champion jockey for three consecutive years – 1997-1999. He won 202 races in 1997, 204 in 1998 and 202 in 1999.

Fallon continued his successful partnership with the Cecil stable in 1998, winning major races with Dr Fong, Catchascatchcan, Wince, Oath and Ramruna, but his retainer was terminated midway through the season. After riding the rest of the year freelance, he agreed to be stable jockey to Sir Michael Stoute in 2000. They got off to a flying start with Fantastic Light breaking the course record when landing the Dubai Sheema Classic and won eight more group races, including the 2,000 Guineas with King's Best and the Coronation Cup with Daliapour. But his season came to an abrupt halt on the second day of Royal Ascot when his mount Alhawa was brought down, causing a horrific injury to his shoulder, which would put him out for the rest of the season. He returned to riding in December.

In 2001 and 2002, Fallon won major races with Golan, Medicean, Russian Rhythm and Islington, among others, the 2,000 Guineas with Golan and the Lockinge Stakes and Eclipse Stakes with Medicean. He finished both years as champion jockey.
Fallon was easily champion jockey for the sixth time in 2003, riding 221 winners, 64 wins ahead of his nearest rival Darryll Holland. His group 1 victories included the 1000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes and Nassau Stakes on Cheveley Park Stud's Russian Rhythm, the Epsom Derby on Kris Krin and the Yorkshire Oaks and Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Islington, all trained by Stoute. For good measure he also won on mounts trained by Paul Cole and Luca Cumani.

2004 proved to be a turbulent one for Fallon. His problems began on March 1 when he prematurely eased his horse, Ballinger Ridge, in a minor race at Lingfield, causing the leader to be caught right on the wire. He was suspended for three weeks but worse was to follow when, following an undercover sting, The News Of The World, accused him of having lost the race intentionally. This brought a disrepute charge from The Jockey Club, which was only dropped in December. The adverse publicity affected Fallon's confidence, and he ended up relinquishing the jockey's championship to Frankie Dettori. He was in the headlines again for the wrong reasons in September, when he was arrested by police as part of a race-fixing investigation. Released after a day of questioning, he has never been charged with any offense but remained on police bail until March 2006. Amidst all this turmoil he still managed to win major races, including the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Ouija Board.

2005 began with a brief spell riding at Gulfstream Park before, in February, he dropped the bombshell that he would be leaving his position as stable jockey to Stoute to move to Ireland to take up the role as retained rider for Aidan O'Brien's principal owners, John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, vacated by Jamie Spencer. Up until Oct. 7, 2005, the new partnership with O'Brien brought 11 Group 1 victories, and Fallon also fulfilled a lifetime ambition when landing the Irish Derby (G1) for the first time, aboard Hurricane Run, followed up by a thrilling win in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

In July 2006, he was formally charged, along with seven others, with "offenses related to allegations of fixing the outcome of horse races from Dec. 2002 to Sept. 2004 and money laundering." ... Lost his appeal in the UK for the loss of his license and was banned from riding there and in the 2006 Breeders' Cup until his trial concluded ... In Nov. 2006, he began serving a world-wide six month suspension after testing positive for a banned substance (cocaine) while riding in France ... He returned to the saddle in Ireland in June 2007, winning at Limerick.

His trial began Oct. 8, 2007 at Old Bailey in London ... He announced on Oct. 13 that he would take a sabbatical from riding in order to devote his full attention to his legal team and the trial ... Found innocent of all charges Dec. 6 and immediately reinstated in Britain ... Just a day later, results of another positive test for cocaine was revealed from an Aug. 19 ride in France. On Jan. 24, he was given an 18-month worldwide suspension.While serving the ban he kept himself busy as work rider in Newmarket.
Returned to the saddle on Sept. 1, 2009 and was soon back in the swing of things. His first 200 rides in Britain were for no less than 74 different trainers and included a Group 3 victory, the Dubai Duty Free World Trophy aboard Strike The Deal, along with 33 other winners.

Enjoyed his first top level success after his return when guiding Gitano Hernando to a narrow verdict over Colonel John in the 2009 Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita. Since then he has enjoyed two more – Contredanse in the 2010 Oaks d'Italia and Dancing Rain in the 2011 Preis der Diana (German Oaks).