GB: Cieren Fallon is set to be crowned Britain’s 2020 champion apprentice at Doncaster on Saturday [Nov 7] – becoming the first rider in 32 years to retain the title.
Fallon, who has claimed 43 wins in the 2020 apprentice jockeys’ championship so far, repeats the achievement of Gary Bardwell who won consecutive titles in 1987 and 1988.
The jockey, son of six-time champion Kieren Fallon, leads second-placed Harrison Shaw by 23 victories with third-placed Georgia Dobie five more adrift in the title race, which concludes at Doncaster.
“It’s an amazing achievement for me,” said Fallon, 21, speaking to Great British Racing. “It is something I set out to do after the success of last year.
“I’ve been very lucky to have the people I have around me to help me achieve these goals – my jockey coach, nutritionist, a great boss in Sheikh Fahad, William and Maureen Haggas, my mum and dad. They are all the best at what they do, so I’m very lucky to be in the position.”
Fallon secured his maiden Group successes with Roger Teal-trained sprinter Oxted, firstly winning the G3 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket in June and then the Group 1 Darley July Cup in a thrilling victory.
“Winning the July Cup with Oxted is obviously the greatest highlight of my year and a memorable day,” added Fallon, who is retained as second jockey with Qatar Racing.
“It’s been an amazing two years really – but I don’t want to be overlooked as an apprentice any more, Oxted has taken me into that Group level, and I want to continue making the step up onto the next level.”
Other highlights for Fallon this season include a 200-1 win aboard Intercessor at Newbury, success with Muraad at the Qatar Goodwood Festival, and a win with the Godolphin-owned Global Storm at Newmarket.
Derby-winning jockey Michael Hills is Fallon’s jockey coach. “It’s a great achievement to become champion apprentice back-to-back,” said Hills. “Considering Cieren’s only really been riding for two and a half years, he’s done tremendously well and learnt very quickly.
“I started coaching Cieren when he took out his licence two and a half years ago and we work together at William Haggas’ which is a big advantage as we talk every day. To do what he has done in this short amount of time and to ride a G1 winner, a July Cup winner, which is not an easy G1 to win, he has done extremely well.
“He’s great to be around, asks good questions, but we have a lot of fun,” Hills went on. “When I was riding, the weighing room was great fun and I try to bring that to Cieren and it’s good fun to be around him.
“He’s ridden over 100 winners already. I’m very proud of the way he has conducted himself and taken on a lot of pressure, riding for a lot of different people, and he’s taken it on naturally and grown with it which I think is a sign of a jockey who is going to be a big name in the future.”
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