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Wednesday, 6 November, 2002, 18:20 GMT
Fallon celebrates success
Kieren Fallon and First Charter land The San Miguel March Stakes run at Goodwood
Fallon has become champion jockey for the fifth time
Kieren Fallon has become champion Flat jockey for the fifth time.

Rivals Richard Hughes and Seb Sanders, second and third respectively in the title race, both put up good fights.

But Fallon clinched the championship with two days of racing remaining, having ridden 143 winners which left him 17 clear of Hughes.


To have ridden as many winners as I have and to have kept the title means a lot
Kieren Fallon

Several twists, turns and suspensions in the last few weeks of the season had left both Hughes and Sanders with chances of taking the crown.

However, the determination Fallon showed to make a comeback after sustaining career-threatening injuries two and a half years ago, helped him see off the persistent challengers.

"Earlier in the season I missed a lot of Sunday racing over here because I was riding abroad and that cost me a lot of winners," he said.

"I soon realised that it could be very costly if I carried on that way."

He suffered horrific injuries in a Royal Ascot fall in 2000 but came back and regained the championship last year after a sustained battle with Kevin Darley.

Fallon feels this year's achievement matches that.

"It has been tough. I have missed a lot of winners through not riding for the Aga Khan at all this year, and not for the Maktoum family for part of the season.

"So to have ridden as many winners as I have and to have kept the title means a lot."

Fallon will be heading for Japan shortly to ride in two jockeys' challenge competitions, and while he is happy to have that fifth title secured, he is looking for more success.

"But for the injury two years ago, I was set for a very good season, this would be six championships on the bounce, and I don't think anyone has done that since the war.

"When you win a title you never want to let it go and it would be good to beat Pat's [Eddery] 11 championships," he added.


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