Monday 18 December 2017

Fallon aiming to maintain his title drive

Nick Robson

Kieren Fallon's desire to regain the jockeys' title burned as brightly as the autumn sun as the in-form rider rattled off another two winners at Ascot yesterday.

Reigning champion Paul Hanagan chose to ride at last night's meeting in Wolverhampton, a regular haunt of Fallon in recent weeks, but failed to land a blow on any of his seven rides.

Clare native Fallon was trailing by 13 at the start of the day and was in playful form, no doubt helped by the successes of Dimension and Mundana.

Both horses were trained by regular Fallon supporters, with James Fanshawe's 3/1 favourite Dimension benefiting from more positive riding to end a frustrating run of seconds in the opening race.

Fallon was required by his main patron, Luca Cumani, for the ride on the progressive filly Mundana (3/1). Now a winner of three of her four starts, she had the EBF Classified Stakes settled with a couple of furlongs to run and was pushed out to beat Fanshawe's Primaeval by a length and a quarter.

"I'm still a long way behind," Fallon said. "I'm enjoying it. Paul's a good fellow and a friend of mine. It's better than if you were riding against someone you weren't on the same terms with."

Fallon also has high hopes of hitting the mark for Cumani at the Berkshire track this afternoon. While last year's Leger hero Arctic Cosmos makes his reappearance in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes, preference is for Fallon's mount Quest For Peace, which is making its debut for the stable.

The Galileo colt began the year with Aidan O'Brien, winning two out of three starts including a Listed race at Roscommon in July. He was subsequently snapped up by OTI Racing, who have shared international success with Cumani through the likes of Bauer, Drunken Sailor and Manighar. Quest For Peace is probably due to tackle similar targets in time but, given his thoroughly progressive profile, he can bag this Group Three on the way.

Meanwhile, in the space of two rides yesterday, Ryan Moore began and completed his public preparation for tomorrow's Qatar Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe.

Neither Tuscania nor Kinyras could manage a confidence-boosting comeback winner for the jockey, whose third ride back will be on Workforce in Europe's biggest race. But in a way both did their job, ensuring a strenuous workout for the jockey, who broke an arm and a thumb at Goodwood in July.

Today, instead of riding he will see the physiotherapist. "It's a bit different to usual, but it was always about being ready for one horse," he explained. "I've put on a couple of pounds in the last month, but nothing serious. Injuries are part of racing, it'll happen to every jockey at one point."

Although Moore expressed the wish that a thunderstorm might hit Longchamp before tomorrow to aid Workforce's chances, he did not rule the colt out because of the ground.

"He's only ever run one bad race in his life (in last year's King George) and he won the Derby on fast ground," he said. "I don't think it's that big a problem."

Irish Independent

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