Fallon the trophy favourite

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The Independent Online
Last year's Royal meeting was not one to remember for Henry Cecil, who did not saddle a winner for the first time since 1974. Normal service seems sure to be resumed this year and anyone prepared to bet otherwise can get 25-1 about a second successive blank week for Warren Place, writes Greg Wood.

The Tote, who opened a book yesterday on how many of Royal Ascot' s 24 races Cecil will win, make three and four successes the joint-favourites on 5-2. They then bet 4-1 about two winners, 11-2 against five, and 8- 1 against six or more, with none at all their 25-1 outsider. With a team which includes Bosra Sham and Sleepytime, the last two winners of the 1,000 Guineas, and last year' s Oaks winner, Lady Carla, there would surely be few takers for the whitewash even at twice those odds.

The Tote's confidence is good news for Kieren Fallon, Cecil' s stable jockey, who is an odds-on chance to win the trophy for the meeting' s leading rider. He is 4-5 favourite with the big three layers, with fellow Irishman Pat Eddery his closest pursuer at 5-1 (the Tote). Another compatriot, Christy Roche, was the subject of a "substantial" bet with Ladbrokes yesterday, and was cut to 10-1 from 20-1. With Olivier Peslier (10-1, Tote) and Lanfranco Dettori (10-1, Tote) also well supported, Richard Quinn is the first British jockey in the list at 20-1 (Coral).

Gary Stevens, the American whose book of rides is growing almost by the hour - Anvil (Chesham Stakes) and Tykevor (Bessborough) were added to the list yesterday - is a 40-1 chance with Ladbrokes.

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