Kieren Fallon has confirmed his intention to base himself permanently in the US as he embarks on another spell riding the highly competitive California circuit.
Fallon, six-time champion jockey in Britain, has been riding work for leading owner Paul Reddam since November. The move has begun to yield rides for the owner’s main trainer Doug O’Neill, who handles leading Kentucky Derby hope Nyquist for Reddam Racing.
“I’m going to stay here,” he told the Thoroughbred Daily News. “This is where racing is, where it’s all about. There’s great racing here and good people. I love it here.”
Fallon, 50, spent most of 2015 in the US but has not made the breakthrough he had hoped for. His only win was more than a year ago, on January 8, after which he spent a short time in Dubai before returning to Britain for the Flat turf season.
He rode ten winners during April and May but cut short his stay when he injured his foot in the stalls and returned to California. He moved to Kentucky to work with Wesley Ward in late summer then briefly returned to ride in Britain during September and October.
However, he missed a number of booked mounts and was back in Keeneland by the time of the Breeders’ Cup. He has had four rides this year, but has yet to make the frame.
“I think I’ll start to get better opportunities,” Fallon said. “Doug O’Neill is starting to put me on some nice horses and I’m thankful for that.
“Things haven’t really started for me here yet. It’s only really beginning. Hopefully, I’ll ride a winner in the next few days and things will take off.”
O’Neill, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with the unbeaten Nyquist at Keeneland in October, is finding the link-up with Fallon beneficial.
“Kieren has been very helpful in the mornings and is obviously a world-class Hall of Fame rider from Europe,” the trainer said.
“He’s been over here in the States for a little bit and has been helping us out in the mornings. He’s an amazing horseman and has such a great critique on horses. He comes back and gives you so much help, little tweaks you can make, things to add or subtract.”