Horse racing: Fallon narrowly escapes Goodwood ban

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The Independent Online

Twenty four hours was the margin by which Kieren Fallon yesterday escaped a ban for part of next week's Glorious Goodwood meeting. The champion jockey was found guilty of careless riding at Lingfield Park and was stood down for four days, from 1 to 4 August.

The ban begins the day after the prestigious Goodwood festival ends. Fallon was punished by the Lingfield stewards for his riding of Fly To Dubai in the second division of the median auction maiden stakes.

From his other mounts at the Surrey track, Fallon rode a sparkling treble - taking his tally for the year to 112. Victories on Raza Cab (5-1), Grandalea (11-4) and Ellina (14-1) completed a treble at odds of 336.5-1.

Raza Cab, trained by Conrad Allen, gave Fallon a flying start by taking the first division of the maiden. Sir Michael Stoute has given Fallon most winners this season and the Newmarket trainer's stable jockey struck on Grandalea for Cheveley Park Stud. Fallon made it three with the Jeff Pearce-trained Ellina.

Kieren Fallon was hardly loquacious was asked about his prospects in Saturday's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He rides the Stoute-trained Gamut.

"A drop of rain would be nice, it's all important," Fallon said. "It looks as though it's going to be a really hot King George - it is most years, but in particularly this year, with Doyen [the favourite] in it."

In France yesterday, however, trainer Elie Lellouche was oozing confidence about his contender, the filly Vallee Enchantee.

The four-year-old is due a change of luck after well-documented traffic problems left her running up cul de sacs at Longchamp and Epsom this year. "She's had two races this season but did not have the best of runs in either," the Lamorlaye handler said, reflecting on Vallee Enchantee's fourth in the Prix Ganay and third to Warrsan and Doyen in the Coronation Cup.

"I don't want to go over old ground, but she was unlucky in the Ganay and in the Coronation Cup - with a clearer passage I think she could have won it."

Dominique Boeuf paid a heavy price for his handling of the filly at Epsom - owner Alec Wildenstein publicly sacking the former French champion. Olivier Peslier has been recruited for Saturday's contest.

Lellouche sounds more than hopeful she can add to his big-race haul in England, which includes Royal Ascot success with Shake The Yoke and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Sussex Stakes with Bigstone.

Vallee Enchantee first caught the eye when losing her maiden tag at Maisons-Laffitte in October 2002, shortly after the death was announced of Enrique Sarasola, the colourful Spanish owner of Arc hero Helissio, Lellouche's last runner in the King George. "Helissio finished third [to Swain in 1997] after an awful lot of rain. I feel Vallee Enchantee has a better chance than he had," reflected the trainer.

"Why? Because she's a reasonably late-maturing filly and she's only raced about two furlongs this season, so she lines up fresh. And look what she's done. As a three-year-old filly she took on her elders and colts and beat them in the Hong Kong Vase - that's pretty impressive."

Lellouche would dearly love to get his hands on the Ascot prize. "I like beating the English in their own back garden - they come over here and do it to us enough," he said.

If she does win, Vallee Enchantee would be the first of her sex to land the big midsummer prize since Time Charter in 1983.