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Last Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007, 15:54 GMT
Fallon cleared to ride in Britain
Kieren Fallon
Fallon was barred from riding in Britain in July 2006
Kieren Fallon can resume riding in Britain following the dramatic collapse of his race-fixing trial.

The six-times champion jockey was suspended 18 months ago by the British Horseracing Authority pending the outcome of his case at the Old Bailey.

But the BHA has lifted its restriction after the Irish rider's case collapsed.

Fallon was already free to ride in his homeland and France where he won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on the eve of his trial in October.

The other two jockeys involved in the case, Darren Williams and Fergal Lynch, will have to reapply for their licenses as the BHA removed them 18 months ago.

Paul Struthers of the BHA said: "It is not appropriate for the authority to comment on the proceedings or the police investigation that led to the trial. Irrespective of the outcome, this has been a sad episode for horse racing.

"The allegation in court that racing and punters were the victims of a conspiracy has been a cloud over the whole sport."

This has been a terrible time for Kieren and we are delighted that it is finally behind him

Coolmore

In the wake of the case collapsing, racing rallied around all the defendants, but particularly 42-year-old Fallon, who missed a string of big-race rides during his time on the sidelines.

His employers at the Coolmore Stud in Ireland said they were delighted with the outcome, but added: "We find it extremely sad that he was denied the right to display his skills and earn a living on the racecourses of Britain while this case was pending.

"A jockey's riding career is a short one and Kieren was cruelly disadvantaged at the peak of his career. Kieren has been nothing less than superb in his riding of our horses - his record is there for all to see.

"This has been a terrible time for Kieren and we are delighted that it is finally behind him."

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Honest Frank

Williams and Lynch were understandably relieved after being acquitted.

Williams said: "I have always maintained my innocence and I was extremely upset that the HRA took away my licence, and prevented me riding for the best part of two years.

"I have always ridden horses on their merits to the best of their ability and I always will. I trust and hope that I can pick up my career where I left off and I will return to racing with my head held high."

Lynch said: "It's been very tough and has been very hard for my family and friends - they are the people who have suffered the most. It's a massive weight off my shoulders."

The police just do not know about racing

Willie Carson

Racing pundit John McCririck said the case had enormous ramifications for racing and was a lesson for every sport that authorities are watching.

He said: "The background to this is the inherent corruption in racing. In the last two or three years, 13 jockeys have lost their licences for various theories on corruption charges. There is a cancer inside racing but, clearly, it did not involve Kieren Fallon."

Five-time champion jockey Willie Carson, meanwhile, described the outcome as "fantastic news for racing" and criticised the police investigation.

"The police just do not know about racing. They do not seem to understand the ins and outs of how horseracing is run," he said. "They didn't know what they were dealing with."

Walter Swinburn, who rode Shergar to win the 1981 Derby and is now a trainer, said what Fallon had been through was "totally unacceptable" but believed racing has emerged with credit.

Walter Swinburn
Swinburn believes the case has made racing's image stronger

"This is the police's third go at investigating our wonderful sport and it can only make things stronger," he said.

Fallon's friend and fellow jockey John Egan said the Irishman had probably been let down for being too approachable.

"Kieren's a very friendly, happy-go-lucky guy. He'll talk to everybody on the way into the races and I think that's the only thing he would ever be guilty of," Egan added.

Brough Scott of the Racing Post said he wasn't surprised the trial had collapsed given the state of the prosecution's case.

"It seems to me to show that when you get into the discipline of sports you've really got to try as far as possible to leave it to the sports authorities," he argued.

"Once you start going outside that, the whole thing becomes quite ridiculous as it has in this case."

SEE ALSO
Jockeys acquitted of race-fixing
07 Dec 07 |  UK News
Cornelius Lysaght column
07 Dec 07 |  Horse Racing
Jockey Fallon's rollercoaster ride
07 Dec 07 |  Horse Racing


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