Fallon convinced Seta is on the right track

The former champion, who has won eight Classics on the Rowley Mile, holds a masterclass on riding there

No matter what the sport, traditional playing fields and arenas have an atmosphere and frisson all their own and yesterday at one the former champion jockey, Kieren Fallon, talked through some of the technicalities that have made him the master of another. The occasion was the promotion of the weekend's two-day extravaganza at Newmarket, where the 202nd 2,000 Guineas and the 197th 1,000 Guineas will lay down the seasonal marker for a generation. The venue, slightly incongruously, was Lord's; but racing and cricket share a centuries-old heritage as the best-documented of any of man's organised delights.

Fallon will ride the second favourite Seta for trainer Luca Cumani in the fillies' race on Sunday. And, with groundsmen and their mowers preparing the hallowed St John's Wood turf for Middlesex's County Championship match against Gloucestershire today, he used a suitable enough analogy to try to explain the potential problems he might face in his quest for his ninth Classic on the Rowley Mile.

"When a bowler bowls a ball," he said, "it looks as if all he does is just throw the thing down the pitch to the batsman. I'm not a cricketer but I am a sportsman and I know there is very much more to it than that. And, although the course at Newmarket is dead straight, and people might think that all a jockey has to do is point and kick, there's a bit more to it than that. It's actually one of the hardest courses there is to ride."

The wide expanses of the Rowley Mile can be deceptive in their perspective; the temptation for the inexperienced is to go for home too soon. But more than that is the undulating topography of this trickiest of pitches, in particular the infamous Dip a quarter of a mile out, a downhill run of a furlong before an equally sharp rise to the finishing line.

"It comes at the most crucial time of the race," said Fallon, "just when you're starting to get your horse ready for the final effort. You want him or her to be balanced and travelling smoothly as you start the descent, but if you start to get organised too early and start using up fuel then you won't have enough left for the run uphill.

"If you try to start to accelerate going downhill you risk becoming unbalanced and if you leave it too late the others will have got first run. It's a very fine line to decide where and when to go."

Some horses are more naturally athletic than others and cope with ascents and descents and the run down into the Dip has found out many an otherwise talented animal. "There are some who just can't gallop downhill properly," added Fallon, "no matter how well you organise them and time your challenge."

The Irishman had a difficult choice to make ahead of the Stan James-sponsored 1,000 Guineas, which he has won before on Sleepytime, Wince, Russian Rhythm and Virginia Waters, between Seta, trained by Luca Cumani, and Music Show, from the yard of Mick Channon. Neither trainer has yet captured the prize.

Fallon rode Music Show to victory on the track both in the Nell Gwyn Stakes two weeks ago, the Noverre filly's fifth outing, and the Rockfel Stakes last year, and has no doubts about her ability to handle the contours.

Seta, a tall, pale chestnut daughter of Pivotal, is much the less experienced of the pair, having raced only twice, and not yet this year. But although she has not yet galloped into the Rowley Mile Dip in anger – winning on the July Course on her debut last August – she lived up to her name with silky strides in a practice run on the course last week.

It was a performance which convinced Fallon she was the one. "Music Show is a very good straightforward ride, and a very good filly, and she's been there, done that on the Rowley Mile against good opposition," he said. "But I just feel that Seta has more innate talent, more class. The last part of the jigsaw is the homework and she really impressed me with the way she cruised down that hill."

Turf account

*Sue Montgomery's Nap

Agent Archie (Yarmouth 4.40)

Won a Goodwood maiden on fastish ground last term, staying on strongly, and should relish the step up to today's 10-furlong trip.



* Next best

Madam Roulin (4.00 Lingfield)

Held in good regard at home and may be seen to better effect this term dropped back in trip.



*One to watch

Lightly raced four-year-old Jonny Mudball (T Dascombe) failed to justify support at Doncaster first time out this season but was not beaten far in a blanket finish, remains relatively unexposed and should strip fitter next time.



* Where the money's going

Ladbrokes report the Godolphin 2,000 Guineas contender Al Zir the heftiest plunge ahead of Saturday's Classic, backed from 20-1 to 12-1 yesterday.



*Chris McGrath's Nap

Emma's Gift (2.10 Yarmouth)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £40,000

£18000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Insurance Bro...

Recruitment Genius: Junior IT Support Technician

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Junior IT Support Technician ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior / Graduate Front End Developer

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides actionabl...

Guru Careers: Customer Support Advisor

Negotiable depending on experience, plus benefits: Guru Careers: We are seekin...

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food