It has long been obvious to anyone with his ear to the ground that Kieren Fallon has neither lost the support of his patrons at Coolmore Stud nor resolved to leave their service of his own accord. Even so, it was heartening yesterday to see Fallon confirm as much, despite the news that he will not stand trial on corruption charges until 24 September.
The six times champion jockey has had his British licence suspended until such time as he can clear his name, and recently forfeited his right to ride anywhere else until June after a positive drugs test in France. But Michael Tabor, one of the Coolmore partners, immediately assured The Independent of their continued loyalty to Fallon. Insiders at Ballydoyle have meanwhile insisted that the careworn jockey's own talk of quitting, unless matters were resolved quickly, was never more than frivolous.
Sure enough, he is now insisting that he was misinterpreted. "Next year I will be better than ever," he said. "I am determined to repay Coolmore for standing by me. I have ridden well over the last couple of years but still made the odd mental error. But now I am going to be sharper than ever, because I will appreciate being able to ride those good horses all the more. I am 41, but I can't talk about retiring. I have no aches or pains. I am in the best shape of my life. I could be like this for at least five more years."
Nap: Bafana Boy
NB: Willie Pep