Fallon sets heart on riding licence

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 September, 1997, 12:00am

British champion jockey-elect Kieron Fallon would love to celebrate an historic success by riding for a month in Hong Kong.

Irish-born Fallon spoke yesterday just 24 hours after brilliant Italian rider Frankie Dettori had conceded the battle for the title that has captivated British racegoers all summer.

'It's not officially over yet but Frankie has said he can't beat me and things are looking very good with the season winding down now,' said Fallon.

'I've had a lot of calls but I must be honest and say that the one I would like is from Hong Kong. I am ready to go there and ride for a month and I have told them that.

'All my energies have been concentrated on winning the title and when it is finally and officially in the bag, I will hope to take a very short break.

'But my only winter plans would concern Hong Kong if they offer me a month out there. I have ridden several winters in India but that is not on the agenda now,' said Fallon, whose association with Henry Cecil survived a couple of rough patches in mid-season to end triumphantly.

Fallon's anticipated title triumph - and Dettori is himself likely to wind down early now that he has conceded it to the Clare-born rider - underlines one of British racing's most incredible success stories.

The fiery Fallon, whose early brushes with authority included a ban for hitting a fellow rider after a race, grabbed the unexpected chance to ride for premier trainer Cecil with both hands.

It was a partnership many observers predicted had no chance of lasting. The elegant Cecil, whose hobby is growing roses, and the feisty Irishman with the low flashpoint, did not appear a ready mix. But it has worked and a British championship will soon be there to prove it.

Fallon said: 'There was a lot of pressure at certain times but not really that much at all from the stable. It all came from outside. Henry stuck with me and he was very supportive.' Although he will now be in further demand around the racing world, Fallon said that Hong Kong was his prime target and a month anytime during the winter could be fitted in.

'At the moment January would be fine or a combination of January and February if they wanted me around that time. I'm ready to go,' he stressed.

The Jockey Club regularly issue one-month licences during the season and Fallon would be a sure-fire attraction given his outstanding achievements this season in Britain.

Director of racing, Philip Johnston, said: 'We are aware of Fallon's interest and it will be discussed by the licensing committee. That's as far as it goes at the moment as no decisions have been taken about further licences yet.'