With Victory in Tomorrow’s Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes
Cieren Fallon believes he has a big opportunity to secure a first Listed winner in his role as number one rider for Qatar Racing aboard Rose Of Kildare, who he feels is the horse to beat in the British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes at Newmarket tomorrow.
The 23-year-old, who is the son of six-time champion Flat jockey Kieren Fallon, will bid to celebrate his biggest success in the maroon and gold silks of Qatar Racing following his interim appointment to the position back in February by Chairman Sheikh Fahad Al Thani.
Initially retained in August 2020 as the organisation’s number two rider, Fallon was promoted to the top job earlier this year after three-time champion jockey Oisin Murphy was handed a 14-month suspension by the British Horseracing Authority.
Since assuming his new role Fallon has tasted numerous victories. However, he now hopes to repay the faith shown in him by his employers aboard the Charlie and Mark Johnston-trained Make Believe mare in the mile and a half July Course feature.
Rose Of Kildare found only the Charlie Appleby-trained Eternal Pearl too strong on her most recent start over course and distance in the Listed Ric And Mary Hambro Aphrodite Stakes earlier this month, form which Fallon believes is the best on offer.
He said: “When I took this role over I was hoping if I found one good horse it would be nice but we have not found that horse yet. However, we have plenty of nice two-year-olds to come out yet so we still have that chance.
“It would mean a lot to me to be able to ride a Listed winner on this filly for Qatar Racing. We want to win the big races and Pattern races and this weekend is a big opportunity for me that I need to take.
“My filly is entitled to come on for her last run and if she runs the same race she did last time, she should win this race. I don’t want to jinx anything but she is the horse to beat in it in my eyes.”
After finishing last of six the first time he sat on Rose Of Kildare on the Listed Winter Derby Trial at Lingfield Park, the avid Wigan Warriors rugby league fan was taken by her last time out performance over a trip he is confident suits her best.
Fallon continued: “I was pleasantly surprised by her last time. When I rode her at Lingfield she wasn’t herself and the track and all-weather surface didn’t help.
“She has got that low head carriage and I just had to give her a ride that would let her bowl along but she loved it. She was excited being back at the races.
“She ran some race and I was just a little bit unlucky that I got touched off by a nice improving three-year-old filly giving so much weight away. I think if we were on level weights I would have won that day.
“I’ve only sat on her over a mile and a quarter at Lingfield and over the mile and a half at Newmarket last time out. The mile and a quarter at Lingfield you can just put a line through.
“On the performance at Newmarket, you can say she got a bit tired but she was entitled to as she had so long off the track.
“If I’m right in thinking that with the feel she gave me she will be better over a mile and a half.”
Qatar Racing will also be represented in the race by the John and Thady Gosden-trained Emotion. Although respecting her chances Fallon is confident he has made the right decision in sticking with Rose Of Kildare.
He added: “We’ve got Emotion in the race as well. She was a little bit disappointing at Goodwood but that was on soft ground over a mile and a quarter then she was a bit free at Royal Ascot but she is now back over a mile and a half on quicker ground.
“She is no slouch and Mr. Gosden wouldn’t be running her if he didn’t think highly of her so we have her to contend with as well.
“It was a tough decision to make but I had to go with Rose Of Kildare as on form she was the best horse in the race.”
While grateful for the opportunity he has been presented on the track Fallon admits victory for Rose Of Kildare would also go some way to thanking Qatar Racing for the support they have offered him behind the scenes to help further his career.
He concluded: “Sheikh Fahad has been nothing but a gentleman to me in the way he has treated and looked after me. The same goes for David Redvers (Racing Manager) and the whole team. I can’t thank them enough.
“They assist me with any sort of troubles I have. If you go through a rough patch they are all there to help you and speak to you. You have form guides to help with all my races, not just their horses, but for any horse I ride they help me.
“They educate me on all the stallions and the breeding of the different horses and international racing as well. It is key having all these people back you up.
“They have educated me for the last two years and they have taught me a hell of a lot that no one ever sees with the things they do off the track for me and I’m very grateful for that.
“It would be nice to be able to ride them a couple of good winners – hopefully starting with Rose Of Kildare this weekend.”
By Graham Clark/The Jockey Club
Photo: Newmarket/The Jockey Club Logo