Racing: Fallon to appeal against Verse ban

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Although it remains unclear precisely when it will start and finish, Kieren Fallon announced yesterday that he will appeal against the 10-day suspension imposed by stewards after the Derby Italiano on Sunday which could force him to sit out the Derby, French Oaks and, most signficantly, the original Oaks at Epsom on 6 June, in which he was expected to ride Reams Of Verse, the hot favourite.

Confusion as a result of the Bank Holiday weekend and the closure of offices in Italy and England means that the dates between which the Italian stewards wish Fallon to remain idle will not be confirmed until today, but the jockey sees no reason to delay his response.

"I am going to appeal and my agent is sorting it out for me," Fallon said yesterday. "I was challenging in the straight when my horse [Ed Dunlop's Musical Dancer] went left. There was a horse on my quarters that I was not aware of and they say I cost it second place. There was nothing I could have done. I didn't use my whip until well into the straight and he started hanging before that."

Fallon was also banned for four days after an incident at Doncaster on Saturday, and a fortnight on the sidelines would be a significant setback to his challenge for the jockeys' title, which he leads by five winners.

Henry Cecil, Fallon's main employer and the trainer of Reams Of Verse and another potential Oaks challenger, Yashmak, said: "It seems rough justice, he couldn't do anything about it and it's a shame because he has been doing so well."

There should be better news for both trainer and jockey at Sandown tonight, when Bosra Sham, winner of the 1,000 Guineas and Champion Stakes last season, sets off on her four-year-old campaign in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes. The best evening card of the summer includes the National Stakes for juveniles, in which Danyross is a challenger from the yard of Aidan O'Brien, successful in both the Irish 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas at the weekend.

The highlight of yesterday's card at the Esher track was a thorough beating for the bookmakers, thanks to the victory of Insatiable in the Whitsun Cup. Michael Stoute's runner, a 13-2 chance in the morning, was backed down to favouritism at 5-2 by the off and more than recouped losses after defeats for the market leaders in both the Henry II Stakes and the Temple Stakes. David Elsworth's Persian Punch and Croft Pool, giving Jeremy Glover one of the most prestigious victories of his career, were the respective winners of the day's two Pattern events.