Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Fallon’s Lord has Salisbury rivals all at Sea

After a treble at the track the previous day, Kieren Fallon won two more races at Salisbury yesterday, including the one Group Three prize that decorates the calendar of this deservedly popular venue.

It says much about the skewed prize-money structure of British racing that Sea Lord should step up in class to win around £60,000 less than he did in a handicap at Goodwood a fortnight ago.

Instead, the more demanding nature of his assignment could be measured by the desperate margin of his success in the Totesport Sovereign Stakes, all out to thwart Poet's Voice in a photo.

Sea Lord conformed to the indomitable type established by so many of the better horses trained by Mark Johnston. By showcasing the excellent form of his rider, however, he also reiterated how very fertile an alliance this might be. For years we have seen Fallon's mounts come off the bridle, only to find extra reserves as he goes through the gears, and that style would certainly play to the strengths of many Johnston horses.

Sea Lord was saddled by Johnston's wife, Deirdre, who emphasised that they feel privileged already to call upon the services of riders such as Joe Fanning, Greg Fairley and Royston French. But they have so many runners, up and down the land, that they were glad to be able to enlist the likes of Fallon and Frankie Dettori as well. Be that as it may, none can match Fallon's strike rate from such chances as he has had so far, now up to seven winners from 17 mounts.

Fallon had earlier won a handicap for the Newmarket trainer in another desperate finish on Aktia. He hopes the partnership can keep up their good run tomorrow week when he rides Summit Surge in the Arlington Million.

Impressive as Fallon has been this summer, now up to 77 winners and fourth in the championship, the title race remains dominated by Paul Hanagan, who rode his 121st winner at Beverley yesterday, taking him a dozen clear of Richard Hughes.

Ryan Moore, the defending champion, remains marooned on 103 as he attempts to recuperate from the badly bruised wrist he suffered at Windsor on Monday.

Hughes will be hoping that his guvnor, Richard Hannon, can keep up his relentless run of juvenile winners — one of which, Casual Glimpse, was yesterday supplemented to the field for the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes at York on Wednesday, at a cost of £13,000.

This colt, impressive at the Newmarket July Festival, could meet the unbeaten Temple Meads among others.

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