Racing: Fallon made to 'feel like terrorist'

By John Cobb, Racing Editor
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The Independent Online

Kieren Fallon's solicitor yesterday told how police made the jockey "feel like a terrorist" during his arrest and subsequent questioning on Wednesday as part of the City of London Police's investigation into race-fixing and corruption.

According to the rider's legal representative, Christopher Stewart-Moore, Fallon described most of the questions put to him as "silly" and said that he was quizzed about no particular races during four or five hours of questioning.

Stewart-Moore has advised Fallon not to give an official interview, but the solicitor spoke to Lydia Hislop of the dedicated racing channel Racing UK about Wednesday's events.

Hislop claims that Stewart-Moore, who was present throughout Fallon's interrogation, said the jockey was asked questions such as "Can you stop a horse by pulling its reins?" One officer is said to have asked Fallon: "You are renowned for riding a horse very hard. If you didn't ride a horse very hard from the beginning to the end of a race, you aren't doing your job properly, are you?"

Hislop claims the solicitor said to the officer: "You clearly don't know anything about racing by saying that. Think about the Olympics, when we were congratulating one athlete for not running too fast early on. It's the same for horses."

Hislop reported that the question was repeated, prompting Stewart-Moore to say: "If you don't mind me saying, I find your questions naive." The officer is said to have replied: "I know nothing about horse-racing so you will have to bear with me."

According to Hislop, Stewart-Moore also said an officer had described Fallon's meeting with Miles Rodgers, warned-off former head of the Platinum Racing syndicate, as "the nub of our case". The solicitor reportedly said to the officer: "Are you serious in saying that this meeting is the nub of your case?"

Fallon shared a lift to the airport with Rodgers after a race meeting at Leicester and Stewart-Moore insists no conversation took place between the pair. He says there were many people in the car, mainly giving directions to the driver, and that there are witnesses to this.

Stewart-Moore is also said to have told Hislop that Fallon was shown a list of names, which included Fergal Lynch, Darren Williams and Karl Burke, in the interview and asked if he knew any of them.

Fallon said he knew the trainer and riders and although he saw Rodgers' name on that list, he explained that he did not know who he was until after that car journey, and he only knew because another rider told him.

Stewart-Moore added that Fallon's home had been searched and police took away a computer which Fallon says was there for his children, although it was broken.

Hislop reported that the solicitor told her he recalls speaking to Fallon shortly after he broke his arm at Royal Ascot (in 2000) and his wife Julie had bought the computer to keep him amused while he was off.

He remembers that Fallon had broken it the same day that he had switched it on, and the rider insists he could not work it anyway.

The Jockey Club have issued a warning to Fallon, and the other licensed racing professionals arrested and bailed on Wednesday, his fellow riders Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams, and the trainer Karl Burke, that although the mere fact of their arrest does not justify suspension of their licences that could be subject to review as the investigation proceeds. All were allowed to resume racecourse action yesterday with Lynch doing best of the quartet in managing to get a 12-1 winner home first by a head at the Redcar meeting.