Racing: Fleetwood's cruise a luxury for Fallon

While King Of Kings won the race but few new admirers in yesterday's National Stakes at the Curragh, Kieren Fallon posted a rather more conclusive performance at Haydock. With three winners to add to his four on Saturday, the bookies believe he has the race for the jockeys' title sewn up, writes John Cobb
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In a week in which he should be celebrating the first anniversary of his seven-race winning sequence at Ascot, Frankie Dettori must instead endure the frustration of seeing the jockeys' title slip away from him as he serves a six-day suspension.

Yesterday, Kieren Fallon opened up the gap over Dettori to 13 (157 to 144) with a 21-1 treble at Haydock -and that came after three more winners at Newbury on Saturday afternoon and a solo success at Wolverhampton that night. The Tote, the only firm still quoting prices on the jockeys' title race, make Fallon a 1-12 chance. Dettori is 6-1.

The dark days of July when Fallon was sacked by Wafic Said after the defeat of Bosra Sham in the Eclipse Stakes are now forgotten. "I'm getting the best rides and when you are riding the best you should win eight out of 10," Fallon said yesterday.

Henry Cecil, who stuck his neck out when appointing Fallon as stable jockey, said: "I'm delighted for him. We've still got plenty to run and we'll be doing our best to help Kieren make it."

One of those likely to make a contribution to Fallon's total is Fleetwood, who made a spectacular debut for Fallon yesterday. The colt was sent off at 4-6 after attracting a string of four-figure bets and justified confidence, winning by eight lengths. He then covered another five furlongs of the course before Fallon was able to pull him up. The time was only four tenths of a second outside the juvenile course record and William Hill quote him at 25-1 for the 2,000 Guineas and Derby.

"I'd put him in the same mould as Daggers Drawn," Fallon said. "You'd have to think he'd be a Derby horse. He'll go on to better things and we'll know shortly how good he is."

Fallon could also be reunited with Bosra Sham in next month's Champion Stakes. The owner's racing manager, Tim Bulwer-Long, said: "Kieren Fallon was never sacked by Wafic Said. Fallon is an excellent jockey, but it's too early to say whether he will ride Bosra Sham in the Champion Stakes."

King Of Kings, meanwhile, showed his bravery and a neat turn of foot to record his first success at Group One level in the National Stakes at the Curragh.

The 9-4 on favourite came close to being trapped behind a wall of horses, but quickened well to beat his stablemate Celtic Cavalier in workmanlike style.

The bookmakers leave him unchanged at between 6-1 and 8-1 for next year's 2,000 Guineas, which may be his next race.