Cieren Fallon aiming high following second apprentice title

Cieren Fallon is hoping this season is a stepping stone to bigger things after becoming the first rider to retain the apprentice title for 32 years.

Fallon has reached several career milestones this term, gaining his first Group-race success aboard Oxted in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket and riding out his claim when clocking his 95th victory.

Oxted also carried the 21-year-old to his first Group One triumph when taking the July Cup at Newmarket, with Fallon subsequently teaming up with Qatar Racing to ride on a retainer as their second-choice jockey behind Oisin Murphy.

“It’s been a very good year,” Fallon said of his season, which returned 43 winners.

“I’ve been very lucky and had a lot of support. Hopefully it can continue next year without a claim. Obviously Oxted helped me a lot, I’ve lost my claim and had a Group success, he’s been a big part of my career so hopefully we can find another one like him.

“I’m going to be riding on the all-weather over the winter and I’ll just keep ticking along, trying to build on this for next year. Next year I hope just to ride more winners than I did this year, have a bit more Group success and just keep building each year.”

Oxted has been a flagship horse for Cieren Fallon
Oxted has been a flagship horse for Cieren Fallon (Hugh Routledge/PA)

Unsurprisingly Oxted is the mount Fallon is most looking forward to reuniting with next spring, and the Roger Teal-trained gelding has been given a long-term aim of the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes after finishing fifth in the Ascot feature this year.

Fallon said: “It’s going to be a big ask from this year, but hopefully it’s going to be a big year. We’re going to go to Royal Ascot and hopefully he can try to win that Champion Sprint.”

Fallon is the son of six-time champion jockey Kieren Fallon, who he reports is thrilled to see him lift his second apprentice title.

“He’s very proud,” he said, “he doesn’t say much, but I know he’s so excited for me and so proud.”

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