After a career that was inspirational and controversial, Kieren Fallon has decided to quit racing. Giving a statement today through Dr Adrian McGoldrick, the turf clubs Chief Medical Officer, he says, he cannot face the media, but is suffering from severe depression. This has been going on for at least the last three years, maybe longer and has been undiagnosed even by top medical professionals in America. Dr McGoldrick even commissioned a study into depression in Jockeys, over 49% of Jockeys in Ireland have suffered with depression.
The 51-year-old has had a prolific career with over 30 wins at Royal Ascot and having twice won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Since signing up with Michael O’Callaghan for this year’s Irish season, Fallon has ridden 115 races but only won nine. He was already feeling this depression before taking on this season but was persuaded to get back in the saddle
Although he will be hospitalised to help get over this bout, he will still return to the stable of Michael O’Callaghan as a rider, not in races, but as a consultant. A man with his experience is always in demand and O’Callaghan hopes he will be able to move to a new phase in his life when the depression is under control.
Here are a few of his top rides:
- Top Cees (Chester Cup, May 10, 1995) A runaway winner, followed by a high court battle.
- Oath (Derby, June 5, 1999) Inspired horsemanship, in calming Oath before the race.
- King's Best (2,000 Guineas, May 6, 2000) Teaming up with Sir Michael Stoute, he won another Classic.
- Ouija Board (Hong Kong Vase, Dec 11, 2005) Another fearless ride.
- Dylan Thomas (Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Oct 7, 2007) Won by a head.
We wish Kieren all the best and hope he beats this debilitating illness.
Todays’ race card is Ayr, Ripon, Windsor and Worcester. In Ireland, there is racing at Roscommon and in France, there is racing at Maison- Laffite.
Horses to watch out for today are Laugh Aloud in the 8.35 at Windsor, with odds of 4/9 with Coral
Polar Forrest in the 8.15 at Ripon with odds of 11/1 with Ladbrokes
Beatabouthebush in the 5.40 at Worcester with odds of 33/1 with Bet365
Good Luck today.