A top jockey always riding a storm

Racing: Kieren Fallon loses his retainer with Sir Michael Stoute
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It is 13 years since Kieren Fallon arrived in Britain, and the loss of his retainer with Sir Michael Stoute was confirmed on Halloween, which is appropriate for a career with far more than its share of misfortune and devilment. Fallon has won seven Classics, is poised to lift his fourth jockeys' title, and in 1999 became the first rider since Gordon Richards to pass 200 winners three seasons in a row.

Fallon's first employer in Britain was Jimmy FitzGerald, and he was soon a leading rider in the north, forming a successful partnership with Lynda Ramsden. But the ruthless pursuit of victory which made him a firm favourite among punters also resulted in numerous visits to the stewards' room.

Most famously ­ or perhaps notoriously ­ Fallon was banned for six months after hauling Stuart Webster from his horse after a race at Beverley in 1994.

Three years later, he secured what was at the time the most prized job in British racing, as stable jockey to Henry Cecil. But he was heavily criticised for his ride on Bosra Sham ­ he himself has referred to it as the Bosra Shambles ­ in the 1997 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, but went on to partner many valuable winners for Warren Place, culminating in Oath's victory in the 1999 Derby.

Less than two months later, though, the partnership was over, amid tabloid headlines linking Cecil's second wife, Natalie, with a "leading jockey." Fallon denied being involved. He was soon back in employment at a top yard, linking up with Sir Michael Stoute at the start of the 2000 season, but now his future is uncertain once again.

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