Fallon's curse costs him pounds 400

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The Independent Online
Kieran Fallon was again at the centre of controversy yesterday when he was fined pounds 400 for verbally abusing the starter at Pontefract.

The jockey, who served a six-month suspension for pulling fellow rider Stuart Webster from a horse at Beverley last year, was unhappy about the start for the Phil Bull Trophy. His mount, Diamond Crown, was slowly away and Fallon shouted abuse at the starter, John Leech, who reported the incident to the stewards.

An unrepentant and furious Fallon said: "He let the horses go before we were ready. My reins were slipping but he just let them go. I asked him to wait and he didn't hear - but he heard me when he wanted to."

Celestial Choir, controversially disqualified after winning at the track nine days ago, gained a popular success in the finale. Her trainer, Les Eyre, said: "About 95 per cent of the general public wanted this to win today. Around 30 professional people phoned us to say it was a diabolical decision to disqualify her."