'Kieren Fallon's victory proves that romance is still alive in racing'

'Kieren Fallon's victory proves that romance is still alive in racing'

IT’S been a weekend for the racing romantics. First Kieren Fallon showed there is still plenty of life in his career when at 49-years of age he rode 40-1 outsider Night of Thunder to victory in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Then on the other side of the Atlantic later that night a horse called California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby just two months after owners turned down an offer $6m for their 51 per cent share of the horse.

Both were eye-catching stories and Fallon’s ran into the next day with Godolphin confirming that the Clare man would ride the Investec Derby second favourite True Story.

It’s some feat for Fallon. We are all big fans. At his age he can pull off the improbable better than anyone and it’s a great deal for Godolphin — they are getting the kind of experience few current riders, if any, have.

The straying of this column into the Flat season is timely. Last week I rode three on the bounce in Newcastle and I’m hoping to get the rhythm going as the jumps season slows.

Hopefully this year I can switch between the two without too much upheaval!

I had a bit of romantic racing story myself last week when I steered a 100-1 shot Buckontupence into third place in Bangor.

It’s a rare thing to get a ranked outsider into the shakedown but this horse has managed to run into form after showing well on the Point-to-Point circuit.

The change in ground also helped and is something for punters to be mindful of right now.

I did have to endure a stewards inquiry after the race and I was treading a fine line in terms of performance but I wouldn’t have gotten the results if I hadn’t pushed.

Often the problems with tracks are different stewards will have different interpretations just like referees in field sports.

Thankfully the result was allowed to stand.

With all this talk of romanticism, I’d better stop somewhere on the way home to get my wife a bunch of flowers — just in case she reads the column.