Fabulous Fallon takes opening-day plaudits at Goodwood

Kieren Fallon on his way to the second leg of his treble at Goodwood on George Guru  Picture by Clive Bennett
Kieren Fallon on his way to the second leg of his treble at Goodwood on George Guru Picture by Clive Bennett

Kieren Fallon won five races at Goodwood last year - he is already halfway to beating that total after a back-to-back 136-1 treble at the season opener on the Downs.

The stalwart of the flat notched three wins in 70 minutes to dominate the first meeting of the season at Goodwood and perhaps lay down a marker for the rest of the season.

On an afternoon that started in chilly conditions but ended in sunshine, Fallon’s first win - on 4/1 chance Khione for Luca Cumani in the Betfred The Bonus King EBF Daisy Warwick Stakes (Listed Race) - was his 100th Goodwood success.

He admitted afterwards he had not realised he was close to the milestone and said: “I’ve ridden for some great trainers over the years.

“Goodwood’s not been my best track but it can’t be that bad if I’ve ridden 100 winners.”

Within an hour, Fallon’s total was 102 after he took the honours in two successive handicaps - on Michael Attwater’s 10/1 chance George Guru in the Betfred Mobile Lotto Stakes and on 6/4 favourite Duke of Firenze, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, in the Betfred Mobile Sports Stakes.

On an afternoon of close finishes, Fallon’s second and third victories were also the biggest-winning-margin victories of the fixture - both coming by one-and-three-quarter lengths.

While Fallon dominated the rider honours, it was also a good start to the Goodwood season for teenage jockey Michael Murphy, who had four wins at Goodwood last year. He carried on where he left off with victory in the opening race, the Betfred TV EBF Maiden Stakes, on John Gallagher’s Iseemist (8/1).

In each of the final three races on the card of seven, the favourite was beaten into second place by a much longer-priced contender.

The listed Betfred Mobile Casino British Stallion Studs EBF Conqueror Stakes went to Burke’s Rock (12/1), ridden by Mickael Barzalona for Jeremy Noseda.

The Brett Johnson-trained Firmdecisions (8/1) was first home in the Betfred Still Treble Odds On Luckys Median Auction Maiden Stakes under George Baker.

And the last, the Collect totepool Bets At Betfred Shops Stakes, was won by Jim Crowley on 16/1 shot Jan De Heem for handler Ralph Beckett.


See reaction and pictures from the meeting in the Observer on Thursday - and get previews and tips for every local racing fixture on this website