Kieren Fallon, the six-time leading jockey in Great Britain who is currently banned from riding because of a failed drug test, revealed in an interview that he wants ride in North America every winter, and maybe more.
Fallon told Chris McGrath of The Independent, one of Britain’s national newspapers: “I want to try to make a career of it in America. I’d like to spend the winters there at least and come back here for the summer.”
Fallon, who used to be stable jockey to the main Coolmore owners and based in Ireland, was acquitted of race-fixing allegations in a trial in London late last year, but shortly afterward it was revealed he had failed a drug test in France. He cannot ride again until August 2009.
Fallon got an 18-month ban from the French authorities--it was a second offense--and the 43-year-old is currently riding in the mornings in Newmarket, England, mainly for trainer Michael Stoute, to whom he was once stable jockey.
Fallon has also launched his own Web site, www.kierenfallon.co.uk, which is free to access but requires registration. A press release said the Web site’s aim is “to give the racing public a rare and direct insight into the horses he rides on the gallops, eye-catching runners and classic contenders.”
Fallon said he’s happy with the gradual switch-over from dirt to artificial surfaces in North America. He told The Independent: “I love that they’re changing the (dirt) surfaces. Prize money is very good, and I found it easy to ride the turf races when I rode at Gulfstream (Park in early 2005), and that was just on Jerry Bailey’s second and third strings.”
Johnny Murtagh took over as stable jockey for John and Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith at the start of the European season in March, while Fallon went to Palm Springs to spend a month in the Betty Ford Clinic.