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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 20:47 GMT
Plot claims 'like Dick Francis'
Kieren Fallon surrounded by television cameramen
Irish-based Fallon is a six times champion jockey
The idea of deliberately losing races was like a plot from a Dick Francis novel, Kieren Fallon told police.

In police interviews read to the Old Bailey, the jockey told detectives he had never deliberately lost a race.

The six-time champion said it would be impossible to do so as "horses have minds of their own" and he always put in the "extra measure" to win.

Mr Fallon, 42, is one of six men who deny taking part in an alleged 2m race-fixing conspiracy.

'Too fast too early'

He admitted he had held up horses in the early part of a race so that they could come from the back to win.

"If you go too fast too early you'll end up like Paula Radcliffe did in the Olympics," he told police.

Detective Constable Matthew Hussey, of City of London Police, asked him: "Have you ever deliberately lost a race on a horse?"

"Never," Mr Fallon replied.

The officer asked him about his reputation for "getting the maximum out of a horse", and asked if he had a "degree of control" over his ride.

"Not really, no," Mr Fallon said.

Novels and films

"If the horse wants to go as fast as it can, you couldn't slow it down?" he was asked.

"Well, you wouldn't want to slow it down, only to push," Fallon replied.

"Say if you wanted to lose a race?"

"I wouldn't, it wouldn't come into my category of riding," the jockey said.

Asked what he knew about the practice of "stopping a horse", he said he had read about it in "Dick Francis stories" and "Mickey Rooney films".

'Pursuit of winning'

Earlier, the court heard that Mr Fallon rode a "brilliant" race to win on the Queen's horse Daring Aim at Newmarket even though it was allegedly supposed to have lost as part of the betting scam.

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute, 72, said: "It was a brilliant ride. She was not helping him."

Sir Michael went on to praise Mr Fallon's performance when he won a month earlier in June 2004 on Krynica at Pontefract - a race also included in the alleged plot.

"He is squeezing her and encouraging her. It is beautiful horsemanship - and she was not very good," he said.

While Mr Fallon was at Newmarket stables from 2000 to 2004, his motivation had been "the pursuit of winning", Sir Michael said.

Mr Fallon, 42, of Tipperary, Republic of Ireland, Mr Rodgers, 38, from Silkstone, South Yorkshire, Mr Lynch, 37, of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Mr Lynch's brother Fergal, 29, from Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, Philip Sherkle, 42, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, and Darren Williams, 29, of Leyburn, North Yorkshire, have all pleaded not guilty to being involved in the alleged race-fixing scam.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

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