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Kieren Fallon barred from riding in Derby

Jockey Kieren Fallon was sensationally barred on Saturday from riding 9-2 third favourite Recital in the...

African horse sickness is a serious concern in the Western Cape. Picture: stock.xchng

Jockey Kieren Fallon was sensationally barred on Saturday from riding 9-2 third favourite Recital in the Epsom Derby after an appeal in the High Court in London to stop him taking part succeeded.

The 46-year-old was originally due to partner 10-1 chance Native Khan for Turkish owner Ibrahim Araci but switched earlier in the week to Recital, trained in Ireland by his former boss Aidan O'Brien.

Araci's solicitor Mehmet Erdogan told Sky News outside the hearing building that the court had decided Fallon should keep his promise.

"Mr Fallon has brought this upon himself, as the judge indicated, by being in clear breach of his promise and contract."

On Friday, a High Court judge rejected an attempt by Araci to stop Fallon riding Recital but on Saturday, less than six hours before the race and in unprecedented circumstances, it was announced that an appeal by Araci had been successful.

Irishman Fallon denied at Thursday's initial hearing there had been any breach of contract, arguing there had been an "innocent misunderstanding."

Judge Mr Justice MacDuff had concluded on Friday that Fallon had appeared to act with "deliberate selfishness" but declined to stop him riding for various reasons, including the public interest. Fallon has won the Derby three times.

MacDuff also said on Friday that preventing Fallon from riding in a premier classic race would be "severe punishment" and although an injunction would cover "one short day," it would involve "a restraint of trade and a prohibition on a major sportsman from carrying on his occupation."

Native Khan will be ridden by Johnny Murtagh who won Friday's Epsom Oaks on 20-1 outsider Dancing Rain, beating Fallon into second place on 3-1 chance Wonder of Wonders. The ride on Recital may go to fellow Irishman Pat Smullen.

Carlton House, owned by Britain's Queen Elizabeth is 9-4 favourite to give the 85-year-old monarch her first Derby win.

Fallon, six-times British champion jockey is no stranger to the headlines.

During his long career he has enjoyed success at top level home and abroad but in 2007 he was one of the defendants in a high-profile race-fixing trial at the Old Bailey.

Though the case collapsed he then served an 18-month ban after failing a drugs test in France. Since his return to action the Irishman has been steadily re-building his career.

Timeline

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