Fallon pilots Recital as Derby comes into focus
After a week that saw the Ballydoyle trainer record an impressive return of four-from-four with Ryan Moore at Chester, Aidan O'Brien has secured the services of his former stable jockey Kieren Fallon for his leading Derby hope at Leopardstown tomorrow.
Having lost the job in 2008 on receipt of an 18-month ban for use of a prohibited substance, Fallon had his first ride back for O'Brien when he rode Viscount Nelson in last year's 2,000 Guineas.
Following Johnny Murtagh's decision to then quit the post last December, O'Brien has been forced to use a 'best available' policy.
The 46-year-old Co Clare-born Fallon has become the latest to fall into that bracket.
His booking on Recital in the Derrinstown Derby Trial is particularly significant, with Moore expected to partner Carlton House for Michael Stoute at Epsom next month.
Disappointing under Moore on his reappearance at the Co Dublin venue last month when he raced keenly and came from a long way off the pace to finish third, Recital ought to be good enough to get his season back on track in tomorrow's Group Three.
He was a Group One winner at two, while it's worth noting that the form of his Ballysax defeat has worked out well, with Banimpire scoring again last week.
The debutant Nantucket Bay, Fallon's only other mount on the card, could get the day off to a good start for the former champion jockey in the mile-and-a-half maiden.
There is very little to recommend any of the seven that have already run in an 11-strong field, and it is interesting that the three-year-old has been reserved for Fallon.
In 1,000 Guineas trial, Seamie Heffernan steers the Ballydoyle representative Gemstone. However, that one is well exposed, so it can pay to look elsewhere.
Zaminast, Sapphire Pendant and Handassa have each won their respective sole starts. Kevin Prendergast's last-named Dubai filly, so comfortable when justifying market support at the Curragh in October, might be the one with the most class.
Earlier, Prendergast's Celtic Dane is fancied to follow up his reappearance win under 10lb claimer Sam Bell in the Growise Handicap. Although only a short-head winner at Leopardstown in March, Celtic Dane won with a bit more in hand than that.