Racing: Suspension puts Fallon's champion status at risk

There is just about only one story in sport at the moment. It concerns an obsessed Irishman whose disciplinary problems appear to be putting a championship at stake.

But then there is much to connect Roy Keane and Kieren Fallon, both of whom are slim and relatively small until it comes to the effect of their gaze and body language. The footballer is out for six weeks and, while the jockey is about to be absent for less than a fortnight, it may be his suspension which has the greatest effect on the destiny of a season-long prize, in his case the riders' championship.

Fallon started yesterday 13 winners ahead of Richard Hughes in the title race but ended it several lengths behind after being saddled with a 13-day suspension at the Jockey Club. A further four-day ban is in the equation and will be activated if he commits another offence within three months.

The misfortune of others made it a memorable day for Hughes. Following Olivier Peslier's fall in France on Wednesday and consequent break to his collar-bone, the tall jockey was yesterday booked to ride Banks Hill in Sunday's Prix du Moulin at Longchamp.

Fallon made no comment at Portman Square and on occasions like that it is always best not to press him too rigorously. There were words, however, from Michael Caulfield, the secretary of the Jockeys' Association, who was critical of the totting-up procedure under which his man was punished.

The champion's culpability in a case of irresponsible riding of a minor nature at Newmarket last month triggered yesterday's ban as he had already accrued 16 days of suspensions in the past 12 months.

"Some would say it is a little harsh but Kieren came here today knowing that he would get a ban and it's got to be served," Caulfield said. "But there is a feeling in the weighing room, which I share, that we need to improve the totting-up system.

"You haven't got to be a genius to work out that if you are a top jockey, who is riding in 600 to 1,000 races a year, you are going to make a couple of mistakes during that time. You have a bad month, a bad week and it's all over.

"I can understand all forms of regulation. I know why it is in place but the totting-up system offers no encouragement for jockeys. I am confused by the will to punish and punish again. Kieren has had six minor bans this year, all of two or three days, and now he has this as well. I'm not sure what purpose it serves.

"I would like to see incentives introduced to reward jockeys – those who don't commit offences for long periods could have time taken off any suspensions they receive. When a jockey reaches the edge of the threshold they are riding with something hanging over them and that can't be helpful."

In a second hearing at the Jockey Club there was further evidence that results at Portman Square are as reliable as those of Portman Park. Grimaldi must have been chairman of the panel as racing's police discussed the case of Recount, whose run at Lingfield last week launched a raft of penalties.

The gelding was banned for 40 days, his jockey Ricky Lake for 10 and the trainer John Best fined £1,600 by the local stewards under the non-triers rule. Recount had finished lame, as did the Jockey Club's logic yesterday after they exonerated horse and trainer, but let Lake's suspension stand.

"The stewards accepted that the horse finished lame and that is why he didn't show his form," the rider said. "But they haven't been able to explain themselves as to what I should do in future if I ride a horse which I feel isn't right.

"I asked them whether I should ride a horse all the way out to the line if I suspect he is lame and they weren't able to give me an answer."

John Maxse, for the Jockey Club, was pushed through the curtains to explain the decision. "The video evidence didn't demonstrate clearly that Lake felt a problem had occurred during the race," he said, "and therefore he was found in breach of that rule."

In one sense Maxse was right. It was not the video which demonstrated there was a problem. It was the horse.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments