Cieren Fallon: Rising Star Out of Action After Breaking Back at Windsor

The scale of the breeding industry and astronomical sums demanded by the leading stallions act as confirmation that horse racing talent passes down through the genes. However, an aptitude for racing from one generation to the next isn’t confined to the equine stars.

It seems that having a riding superstar for a father doesn’t hurt your chances of forging a career in the saddle. Frankie Dettori’s father Gianfranco was crowned Italian Champion Jockey on 13 occasions, David Egan’s father John registered over 1,000 wins, and Tom Scudamore boasts eight-time Champion Jumps Jockey Peter as his dad – to name just three.

In recent years, a new name has been added to that father and son list. Now into his seventh season, Cieren has some way to go to emulate his 16-time Classic-winning father, Kieran Fallon, but he has made a positive start. However, that progress through the ranks now faces an inevitable pause due to an unfortunate incident at Windsor last week.

A Star on the Rise

Gaining his first ride in 2018, young Fallon picked up his first win aboard the 25/1 shot Plucky Dip at Leicester in September of that year. He went on to end his debut campaign with four wins.

2019 then saw Fallon explode onto the scene, with a big handicap success in the Old Borough Cup the pick of 62 victories, which saw him storm to the Champion Apprentice title in his second season. Fallon retained that title when matching his 62-win tally in 2020.

Group Race Success

The undoubted highlight of that 2020 season came in the July Cup, as a Fallon-inspired Oxted produced a storming late effort to forge clear of Frankie Dettori and Sceptical for a first career Group 1 triumph.

A second Group 1 – and first Royal Ascot victory – came in 2021, with Fallon and Oxted again proving an irresistible combination in the King’s Stand Stakes. As of July 2024, that remains Fallon’s most recent top-level success, but he has bolstered his CV with five wins at Listed level and two in Group 3 company. Prodigiously talented and now enjoying a strong relationship with the powerful William Haggas operation, it seems sure that more will follow. However, he will have to wait at least a little while.

Western Woes at Windsor

Having only returned to the track following a knee ligament injury in March, Fallon was beginning to build up a head of steam. His 24% strike rate in June represented his best return since the 32%, which preceded his knee injury in November 2023.

Alas, Fallon now faces another spell on the sidelines, having been sent flying from the saddle by the two-year-old maiden Nanna Western on Monday evening. Whilst only finishing 12th of 14 in her 5f assignment, Nanna Western had at least behaved herself during the race. Unfortunately, what should have been an incident-free journey back to the paddock proved anything but, with the filly sending Fallon on an unwanted and speedy trip towards the Windsor turf.

That tumble represented a painful end to his day at the races, which resulted in two broken bones in his back. Thankfully, Fallon appears to have escaped lightly (as far as broken backs go!), with no operation required. Nevertheless, an unspecified spell on the sidelines awaits as the 25-year-old rests and recuperates. Glorious Goodwood is almost certainly off the agenda, but hopefully, Fallon will return to continue his rise in the latter half of the campaign.