‘My dad made a lot of mistakes – he’s there to stop me doing the same’
“There were photographs around the house [of riding] and that sort of thing,” he explains. “One morning, I woke up and I thought, ‘I’ve done all these sports but this is what I’d want to do’. Mum was very surprised and a bit 50:50 about it. Dad was more shocked than anyone but, I think, he was happy inside and he brought me down to Newmarket.”
At Kirby’s farm, instead of going forward, the cob he rode reared up with him. Far from being fazed, Fallon recalls getting a buzz from it. He has not looked back nor, it seems, taken a false step. His father is one mentor, along with his two jockey coaches. “Dad made a lot of mistakes,” he points out. “He’s there to make sure, hopefully, I don’t make the same mistakes. Ryan Moore and Kieren Fallon – both very talented, but brought up differently and if I model myself on Ryan Moore, as a person or jockey, I won’t go far wrong.”
So often, the key to a successful apprentice and a future beyond his apprenticeship is his “master”, and while the astute William Haggas might have supplied Fallon with only two winners, he has been a daily sounding board, has used his vast experience to “manage” him and he is immensely proud of the jockey’s achievement and excited about his future.
“We weren’t planning to go for it [the title] this year,” recalls Fallon. “At one stage, I was 16 winners behind but when I had narrowed the gap to two, I asked the boss and my agent if it would be OK to try and win the title. They agreed we wouldn’t change anything, but that we’d go for a few more rides.
“Mr Haggas has brought me up very well; we have chats about little things. If I ride a good race, he texts me; if I ride a bad race, he speaks to me the next morning. He’ll ask me where I’m riding and tell me everything he knows about the course. Mum was quite
Big boots to fill: Cieren Fallon knows emulating his father will be a challenge