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banner Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 19:15 GMT 20:15 UK
Kieren Fallon
Kieren Fallon has been champion jockey three times
Fallon has constantly defied the critics
Date of birth: 22/2/65
Main trainer: Sir Michael Stoute
Total Royal Ascot wins: 13
Royal Ascot 2000 wins: 4

Controversy has dogged Kieren Fallon's career, yet he shrugs off the brickbats to boast an impressive record in the saddle.

Only this year, the Queen's racing manager Lord Carnarvon suggested the Irish jockey's ride on Oaks hope Flight of Fancy at York in May was "awful".

The following day, Fallon was at his best as he brought Dilshaan to win the Dante Stakes, putting the horse firmly into the Derby picture.

Fallon won the big Epsom Classic in 1999 on Henry Cecil's Oath, cementing what appeared to be a fruitful partnership for the pair, having won the 1,000 Guineas and the Oaks for the handler.

But they split after tabloid stories concerning the jockey and Cecil's wife.

Fallon went on to reap dividends as first rider for Sir Michael Stoute with victory in the 2,000 Guineas on King's Best.

At last year's Royal Ascot meeting, the jockey suffered a career-threatening shoulder injury.

But Fallon returned quicker than expected and confounded critics who questioned his fitness by steering the impressive Golan to victory in this year's 2,000 Guineas in May.

The champion jockey of 1997, 1998 and 1999 is now hoping to reclaim his title from Kevin Darley.

He missed this year's Derby, when he would have ridden one of the favourites Golan who came second, because of a riding ban.

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