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Kieren Fallon - 5 of the bestPosted on Monday 4th July 2016 @ 15.26

The six-time champion jockey announced his retirement on Monday and we've compiled a list of his five best career rides.

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As great jockeys go, there have been few better than Kieren Fallon.

The 51-year-old announced his retirement from riding on Monday as a consequence of suffering from mental illness and will go down as a legend of the sport alongside the likes of Lester Piggot and the late Pat Eddery.

He had an illustrious career in which he captured the British jockeys championship no less than six times, scored in 16 British Classics and rode umpteen Group 1 winners around the globe.

Fallon rode a host of top horses to victory throughout his career and compiling a shortlist was far from an easy task but, here of five of his best rides.

Reams Of Verse - 1997 Oaks

One month after riding Sleepy Time to victory in the 1000 Guineas to land his first British Classic for the late Sir Henry Cecil, Fallon took the ride on warm-favourite Reams Of Verse in the Epsom Oaks.

He'd partnered the daughter of Nureyev to win the Musidora Stakes at York's Dante meeting and it was no surprise the filly was sent off 5/6 favourite as Cecil looked to retain his Oaks crown.

Things did not pan out smoothly, however, for Fallon at Epsom. Reams Of Verse was hampered heading into the straight and Fallon was left with little room to make his challenge. However, he saved victory from the jaws of defeat when he bravely switched Reams Of Verse to the outside and the pair powered home to win by one-and-a-half lengths.

Oath - 1999 Derby

A master jockey not only can ride winners but settle a horse down when they're aggravated prior to going to post.

That's indeed what Fallon did with Oath in 1999 on his way to landing the Oaks-Derby double. The son of Fairy King was known for having a fiery temperament so Fallon smartly took his mount to post earlier than the rest in a bid to settle him down and conserve vital energy.

It proved a masterstroke from Fallon and Cecil's charge hacked up on the Downs. Oath went clear with Diliapour but it was Fallon who left enough in reserve to go clear with one furlong left and took the contest by one-and-three-quarter lengths.

Oath subsequently had only one more run in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot a month later. He finished a disappointing seventh against his older rivals but came back from the race lame, which was due to a broken bone in his knee and was retired.

Ouija Board - 2005 Hong Kong Vase

Fallon rode some high-class fillies during his career but arguably none were better than Ouija Board.

She was a superstar filly and the pair romped to Oaks success in 2004 by an incredible seven lengths, which could well have made the list. However, it was Fallon's ride on the daughter of Cape Cross in the Hong Kong Vase that makes the cut.

They were reunited at Sha Tin after a disappointing tilt in the Japan Cup a month previously and both were back to their very best. Fallon positioned Ed Dunlop's charge at the back of the field and waited patiently for a gap to appear. When the opportunity arose, he grabbed it with both hands and Ouija Board impressively came through the middle of the field to hit the front and it was then game over.

Ouija Board has proved to be as good a broodmare as she was a racehorse as she foaled 2014 dual Derby hero Australia.

Dylan Thomas - 2007 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Fallon's second Arc success on Dylan Thomas was arguably his finest hour as a jockey.

The County Clare man's career was always riddled with controversy and he entered the race on the back of a failed drugs test, which resulted in an 18-month worldwide ban. Nonetheless, he put all of his problems to the back of his mind to clinch the Arc in 2007.

Dylan Thomas had been a revelation during the season and emphatically captured the Prix Ganay, King George and the Irish Champion Stakes.

Fallon rode the son of Danehill with the utmost amount of confidence at Longchamp and timed his ride to perfection. Fallon hit the front two furlongs out and Mick Channon's Youmzain made late headway under Richard Hughes but Dylan Thomas had enough in the tank to win the race and give Aidan O'Brien his first and only Arc victory to date.

Fallon survived a half-an-hour stewards' enquiry after the race for veering sharply to the right in the home straight but Dylan Thomas kept the race.

Dylan Thomas was unable to win his final career outing in the Breeders' Cup Turf three weeks later. He's been described as the best horse Fallon has ever ridden and is enjoying a fruitful stallion career.

Night Of Thunder - 2014 2000 Guineas

After a period of disarray, Fallon bounced back with a bang on Night Of Thunder in the first Classic of the 2014 season and produced one of the biggest shocks in recent years.

The son of Dubawi was dispatched by Kingman in the Greenham Stakes a month previous and was trainer Richard Hannon's third string for the contest behind Toormore and Shifting Power respectively.

Kingman was all the rage in the betting and looked bound for success one furlong from the finishing post. The field split in two when they broke from the stalls and Fallon tracked John Gosden's well-fancied favourite on the far side rail. Kingman struck the front and was tracked by O'Brien's subsequent dual Derby winner Australia on the stand side, but Fallon pounced his mount late. Despite Night Of Thunder wandering left, Fallon had timed his ride to perfection to scalp Kingman by a neck.

Night Of Thunder was beaten by Kingman in the St James's Palace Stakes in his next start but did take the spoils in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes as a four-year-old.

Article Posted on Monday 4th July 2016 @ 15.26

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