Top jockey checks into rehab

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  • Kieren Fallon, the champion flat jockey, is undergoing treatment for an alcohol problem in Ireland, but has vowed that he will be riding again next month.

    He insists that he will retain his crown this summer and win the jockeys’ title for the sixth time in the past seven years.

    Fallon, 37, has enrolled for a 30-day therapy course for alcoholism. He is due to leave the centre next week.

    In an interview in The Sunday Times Fallon admitted he had become a “serious social drinker”. He added that he was disenchanted with what drink was doing to him.

    He took the decision to seek help with the blessing of his number one trainer, Sir Michael Stoute at Newmarket.

    “Last season I rode 150 winners but my heart wasn’t in it, as it was before. I realised alcohol was taking away the enjoyment and for me the important thing was to recognise this before it got too late,” explained the Irishman.

    He said that drinking was affecting his family life. His wife Julie has been to visit him four times while he has been under treatment.

    Fallon, who won the 1999 Derby on Oath, insists he won’t touch drink again.

    Walter Swinburn, one of the most talented flat riders of the modern era, and jump jockey Timmy Murphy, who is resurrecting his career after a prison sentence for being drunk on a plane, are two other high profile jockeys who have wrestled with the demon drink.

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