Son of my father: landmark success for Cieren Fallon on Oxted – here’s the July Cup takeaway

By Nicholas Godfrey

So you know Oxted recorded a popular victory for champion apprentice Cieren Fallon and trainer Roger Teal in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday. You’ve probably seen the race – but here’s some other stuff you might like to know.

What’s going on?

Kieren Fallon: “He’s got it – I know he’s got it!”

Proud as punch was Cieren Fallon’s father, the six-time champion jockey Kieren, who never won the July Cup during his formidable career.

“He’s got it – I know he’s got it,” said Fallon snr. “It was difficult for the young lads to get going again, but he’s had a couple of decent winners now and when you’re on a roll, things fall your way.

“He’s got so much confidence – I wish I had half his confidence when I was riding,” Fallon added. “William (Haggas) has done so much with him behind the scenes. He has sent him to Australia and he has sent him to America. He’s doing everything to get him where needs to be at.

“He works hard and he’s dedicated, but without William he wouldn’t be having this success. He’s done a great job with him.”

Horse Racing Oxted July Cup Cieren Fallon Roger Teal
Oxted with jockey Cieren Fallon, trainer Roger Teal (left) and Teal’s son Harry after their Darley July Cup win. Photo: British Champions Series

Cieren Fallon: second G1 ride, first G1 win

Champion apprentice Cieren Fallon’s only previous G1 ride came just a month ago when he beat only one home aboard 100-1 shot Los Hogues in a 15-runner field for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas.

His second G1 ride on Oxted was rather more memorable – and he wasn’t even allowed to claim his 3lb allowance owing to the status of the race. “Cieren rode a peach,” said trainer Roger Teal. “He’s such a cool little dude. I think he’s got a bit of a future, don’t you?”

Fallon had one previous Group-race success to his name: also on Oxted, in the G3 Abernant at the Guineas meeting.

‘I can’t believe I’ve won a G1 as an apprentice’ – Cieren Fallon on his July Cup win on Oxted

G1 breakthrough for Roger Teal

Also breaking his maiden at the top level was popular Lambourn trainer Roger Teal, who in December moved into the heart of the village at Windsor House Stables, previously occupied by Harry Dunlop.

The 52-year-old, who enjoyed his best-ever campaign in 2019 with 19 victories, served a long apprenticeship as an amateur jockey and then as assistant to Philip Mitchell in Epsom, when he travelled the world with the millionaire Running Stag. 

Teal trained in Epsom himself for nine seasons before relocating to the Lambourn area, first in Great Shefford. His biggest previous win, in financial terms at least, came when subsequent Guineas runner-up won a Listed race in Qatar in February 2018.

‘He wins the July Cup, Dad!’

Teal’s son Harry was exuding confidence, it seems. “It’s no surprise at all,” said the trainer. 

“We worked him last week. Harry rode him and Harry’s words to me were, ‘He wins the July Cup, Dad’. I had to keep everyone grounded and just let him go and do his stuff but it wasn’t a surprise.”

The four-year-old is nicknamed ‘Fenton’ at home, after the dog who became an internet star following his deer chase in Richmond Park.

Oxted’s future assignments

Paddy Power and Betfair make Oxted their 5-1 favourite for the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock in September. Ladbrokes offer 8-1 for the Nunthorpe, which seems unlikely to come into the picture.

“Haydock is on the agenda and there’s a race in Deauville [Prix Maurice de Gheest] but we’ll see how he comes out of today,” said Teal. “I’m going to get drunk and make a plan tomorrow!”

Mayson: like father, like son

Oxted was emulating his sire Mayson, who won the July Cup in 2012 under Paul Hanagan for trainer Richard Fahey. Mayson, who had never before had a G1 winner, stands at Cheveley Park at a fee of just £5,000.

Superlative: Guineas quotes for Master Of The Seas

Classic quotes were floating about for Master Of The Seas, an impressive three-length winner of the bet365 Superlative Stakes, G2 feature on the July Cup undercard.

Godolphin’s son of Dubawi has been made 10-1 favourite for next year’s 2,000 Guineas by Ladbrokes – but Paddy Power were less impressed, making him a 25-1 chance first show.

It could be significant that trainer Charlie Appleby nominated the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh as the most likely next port of call. He’s on a hat-trick in the G1 contest after Quorto and Pinatubo.

Mohaather: 3-1 for Sussex Stakes after Ascot win

After showing a fine turn of foot to win the G2 Summer Mile at Ascot, Mohaather was cut to 3-1 joint-second favourite (from 7) by Ladbrokes for the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Sussex Stakes betting (Ladbrokes): 11-8 Siskin, 3 Mohaather, 3 Pinatubo, 9-2 Circus Maximus, 5 Khaloosy, 6 Kameko, Wichita, 9 Terebellum, 10 bar.

Shall we talk about it?

Roger Teal (Oxted’s trainer): “It’s a dream come true. You can’t buy days like this. What a peach of a ride Cieren gave him. We believed, although we knew what we were up against it.
“I just said to Cieren, ‘Keep it simple’. There’d been winners coming down the middle of the track in the last few races. I said to Cieren, Golden Horde would go forward, take a lead off him, stalk him and then attack him up the hill. He put the race to bed nicely. It was a deserved win.
“I’ve had a lot of questions asked why he was still riding in a Group 1 without his claim. He’s just gelled with this horse and if it’s not broke don’t fix it. I said to the owners we can’t take him off – we’ll kick ourselves if we take him off and he gets beaten. Cieren is very inexperienced but he is a very confident rider for his age.”

Cieren Fallon (Oxted’s jockey): “I’m speechless. I was just a passenger on a very good horse. Mr Teal and the team back home have done an incredible job – he’s wintered very well. The feel he gives you this year, I couldn’t tell I rode him last year, he feels a different horse.
“I finished second on him on this track just before the Portland so we knew going into the race he’d handle the Dip. I can’t believe I’m a Group 1-winning jockey as an apprentice, never mind such a young age. I owe Roger so much for keeping faith with me.”

Charlie Appleby (Master Of The Seas’ trainer): “He has been very straightforward and, dare I say it, one of the horses that has been under the radar slightly. William said he wasn’t for stopping there. It is a bit early to be getting too excited where we might be next year, but he is definitely a horse that has got the right attitude and physique to see him go beyond a mile with a bit of luck.
“We might have a look at the National Stakes and give him a trip over there [Ireland]. We will give him a little bit of a break as Goodwood would come a bit quick, so the likely route is we will head to the National.”

Marcus Tregoning (Mohaather’s trainer): “He’s always looked like he could be a very good horse. I saw Warning as a two-year-old and I always thought this is the nearest thing I might get to it. He’s probably the best miler I’ve had and it’s very exciting he got the trip well.
“He’s been working extremely well at home so I was hoping he’d deliver. I was quite keen that it wasn’t too soft as he’s got electric speed.”

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