Kieran Fallons return to race riding at Lingfield today has been well trodden ground for some months. Following his acquital from charges of race fixing in the high court, Fallon was banned for 18 months, by the BHA, when tested positive for cocaine.
Without doubt, Falllon has been one of the most talented jockeys on the circuit in the last decade and was the Ballydoyle top man too. Does the talent remain? We shall see. He has chosen a low key return on the all weather but that does not dent the interest levels one bit.
For some time, I have thought his first ride back would be an utter stich up and I was certainly not alone in that thought! His return to action comes in the 2.20 Auction Maiden Stakes at Lingfield on Rare Malt and there stands to be a lot of Fallon Factor cash down.
Fallon has some of the best connections around and I think trainers will be eager to support him. Without doubt, his rides are going to be overpriced in the next few weeks, especially if he bags a couple of early winners but overpriced does not mean they will not win. I would have priced Rare Malt at 6/4 but today a shade of odds on was all you would get!
This is exactly the type of favourite I would have fancied. It has seen the race course twice already, arguably showing improvement on the original run at Kempton last time out. If you watch the Kempton run, the horse certainly looks to have a degree of talent and it struck me that in the last furlong the penny seemed to drop. It would have made the notebook without the Kieran factor.
The opposition are largely unknown with many not having seen the racecourse yet. I loved Taper Jean Girl at the RP forecast 20/1 but not at the 5/1 2nd favourite it turned out to be! Gifted Apakay is of interest at a price. Well bred and from a stable that can have one ready too – Tom Queally gets the ride on the 10/1 shot.
So here is the dilemma and where I sit. Fallon is talented, has solid connections and would love a win on his return for many reasons, some ego, some to get more and better rides, some to help rehabilitate with distanced fans, certianly to announce the return of the King.
Some people might speculate that for the exact reason I think Fallon is booked on for the win and that Rare Malt is a 15lb better horse than anything shown yet is the exact reasoning for layng the horse! If you happened to believe Fallon was mixed up in race fixing (which usually involves well fancied horses losing rather than long shots winning as you only have one jockey to sort out!) then this is the ideal race to make a bucket on. The interest and therefore the money on it will be high. Could this be a classic, horse missed the break, held up, fought for it’s head, wouldn’t settle, jockey lost iron, hit trouble on bend, stayed on strongly, 4th. Conspiracy theories work both ways.
My conclusion is that this race is indeed a stich up and I won’t let a free money opportunity pass me by. What type of stich up is it? A 1st or 4th for Rare Malt? My view, FIRST. Fallon without doubt has a huge streak of confidence / arrogance and I think todays race has free money all over it. I cannot see any other result today than Rare Malt winning and another close up of Fallon in those Resevoir Dogs shades under the headline, ‘Return of the King’