Champion jockey sues Henry Cecil for six-figure sum

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THE CHAMPION jockey, Kieren Fallon, is suing the leading trainer Henry Cecil for a six-figure sum after being sacked from his job at the Newmarket stables five months ago.

Mr Fallon, who was alleged to have been having an affair with Mr Cecil's wife, is claiming pounds 30,000 of his retainer as well as shares in three winning horses. One of the horses named in the writ is Oath, which Mr Fallon rode to victory in this year's Derby. Mr Cecil announced that he had parted company with Mr Fallon on the opening day of the Glorious Goodwood race meeting in July. The action followed allegations that Mr Cecil's wife, Natalie, had a relationship with an unnamed jockey.

Mr Fallon, who is married, has denied that he was involved with Mrs Cecil. He had his last outing for Mr Cecil's Warren Place stable five days after the trainer's statement.

As well as the second half of his pounds 60,000 retainer, Mr Fallon is suing for a share of all prize money from horses he used to ride that have won or been placed since he was sacked.

He claims he was also entitled to receive 2.5 cent of money from syndicating shares, or sale price, in colts that won Group One races. In 1997 he rode Ali Royale in the Group One Sussex Stakes and received a 2.5 per cent share after the horse was syndicated.

But Mr Fallon says he should have also been paid the same share in Oath and Dr Fong, winner of the St James's Palace Stakes. Both horses have been syndicated, for prices unknown to Mr Fallon.

If he had still been employed by Mr Cecil he would have ridden the winning horse, Royal Anthem, in a Group One race at York in August, he says. This would have entitled him to the share of the syndication price. Although Royal Anthem has not yet been sold or syndicated, Mr Fallon says that the horse is worth about $20m.

Mr Fallon became Mr Cecil's stable jockey in 1997 after an oral agreement with the trainer at some time in late 1996. Under the terms of the deal, the jockey was to receive pounds 60,000 plus VAT as his retainer, to be paid in two equal instalments, one after three months and one at the end of the season in November.

The agreement continued on the same terms in 1998, and he was retained for the 1999 season, receiving half his fee three months into the season.

Mr Fallon is now riding in Hong Kong, and Mr and Mrs Cecil separated in July.