Champion flat jockey Kieren Fallon has been summoned to appear before a Jockey Club disciplinary committee to resolve issues arising from allegations in the News of the World last month.
The panel will consider whether Kieren breached Jockey Club rules by “acting in a manner which was prejudicial to the integrity and good reputation of horseracing”. He will also face charges relating to the “communication of information about horses which was not publicly available for material reward”.
Although Fallon is alleged to have refused money for the information he provided during the News of the World undercover investigation, there is a question mark hanging over an “all expenses paid” night at the Dorchester hotel in London, which the jockey is said to have enjoyed.
Many in the racing world consider that Fallon made a serious error of judgement in his dealings with the News of the World investigators, but believe that the jockey has done nothing illegal.
Ballinger Ridges trainer, Andrew Balding, was adamant that there was no reason why the champion jockey would throw away his career on a low-grade race.
He said: “I cannot believe for one moment that Kieren would be involved in anything sinister.”
Fallon also maintains his innocence: “My conscience is clear and it will be a relief to get the opportunity to clear my name.”
The Jockey Club’s John Maxse stressed that the inquiry was to deal purely with the two offences stated, explaining that investigations into the far more serious allegations of race-fixing were still ongoing.
“The Security Departments investigation into the irregular betting patterns of the race at Lingfield in which Kieren Fallon finished second on Ballinger Ridge is on-going and is entirely separate to the Disciplinary Panel hearing into the News of the World articles,” he said.
Fallon returns to race riding on Saturday after a 21 day ban imposed for his “failing to obtain the best possible placing” at Lingfield at the beginning of March. Fallon had pulled as much as 10 lengths clear of the rest of the field by the halfway mark in the race and relaxed in the final straight, allowing Rye to catch him on the line.
Fallons agent, David Pollington said that the jockey had been keeping himself busy during his enforced break, but that he was looking forward to his return to the saddle at the weekend.
“Kieren will be wanting to ride a five-timer just as he always wants to ride a five-timer,” he said.