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Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 08:48 GMT
Fallon issues apology
Kieren Fallon
Champion jockey Kieren Fallon has said sorry to punters after controversially losing a race at Lingfield.

The Irish rider spoke of his "living hell" over being beaten on the line on Ballinger Ridge.

Fallon faces a 21-day ban for dropping his hands, but the race was referred on to the Jockey Club amid reports of unusual betting patterns.

"I'm very sorry for what happened on Ballinger Ridge and I apologise to punters who backed the horse," he said.

Fallon was caught in the shadow of the post by favourite Rye in the Betdirect.co.uk Median Auction Maiden Stakes at Lingfield on Tuesday.

He was 10 lengths ahead turning for home on the Andrew Balding-trained gelding and still well clear approaching the final furlong.

But he eased up and only started riding vigorously again as he caught sight of Rye closing.

After his short-head defeat, punters booed the six-time champion on his return to the weighing room.

And Fallon said the ride was "a long way from being my finest."

Jockeys are human and human beings make mistakes
Kieren Fallon
He told the Daily Mirror: "The last 48 hours have been a living hell for me - I've been getting it in the neck from all sides, but no one feels worse about the whole thing than I do."

Reports have suggested 1.5m was staked on the race with the betting exchange Betfair, which allows punters to make money by backing horses to lose, as well as winning.

Fallon added: "I read in the newspapers that there were suspicious betting patterns before the ride, but I can assure anyone who thinks I'm linked up with that sort of thing that they are barking up the wrong tree.

"I think punters will appreciate I want to win more than they do and I would hope that people who follow me show more of a profit than a loss."




SEE ALSO
Fallon made to wait
04 Mar 04  |  Horse Racing


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