CIEREN FALLON achieved something that eluded his father Kieren by winning the Darley July Cup aboard Oxted. It was only the second time the 21-year-old apprentice had ridden in a G1 race and here, in his own words, he reacts to a special moment
I’m speechless. I can’t believe I’m a G1-winning jockey – as an apprentice, never mind at such a young age. I owe Roger [Teal] so much for keeping faith with me.
There is a lot of pressure going into a G1 like this. I spoke to my dad and my jockey coach Michael Tebbutt, and I went into the office to speak to my boss Mr Haggas. So I’m very lucky to have the support I do have around me to keep me progressing, I wouldn’t be in this position without those people I’ve mentioned.
I finished second on Oxted on this track before he won the Portland, so we knew going into the race he’d handle the dip.
Dad said just keep it simple, jump out, stay in a straight line. Don’t take back, don’t push, keep him travelling, hold him coming up to the dip and then just let him go and see what’s underneath you and that’s what I did. I kept it simple. What a horse!
We still live together [with his father]. Tonight will be interesting, but I will definitely wind him up! He is very proud. He has helped me a lot this year. He was going to move to America, but he has stuck around to look after me and I can’t thank him enough.
But you have got stay level-headed in this game as one moment you can be up, one moment you can be down. I’m going to celebrate tonight with family and tomorrow is another day.
I’m very lucky – I was just a passenger on a very good horse. He’s got speed, he’s got a bit of stamina, he’s won over seven furlongs, he’s won over five. He ran well on soft ground, he’s won on good to firm ground, and he’s a very versatile horse.
Oxted is a wonderful horse – he wintered so well. The feel he gives you this year, I couldn’t tell you I rode him last year, because of the difference in him, the strength, the speed, the mentality, everything throughout the winter he has progressed on. That’s great training by Mr Teal.
This has proven what he can do with good horses and it’s only going to be a matter of time before he starts getting more better horses. I’m delighted I have been a part of his first G1 success.
I got so much support from Roger last year and going into this year, letting me ride him in a G3 and again today. I am delighted that the loyalty is there.
There’s a picture on my wall of me winning the Abernant … I think I ‘m going to get a bigger picture on the wall next week of me winning the July Cup.
• Visit the British Champions Series website