An injunction that would have prevented controversial jockey Kieren Fallon riding in tomorrow’s Epsom Derby has been denied by the High Court. The controversy stems from Fallon switching horses earlier this week in the lead up to the race. His ride was due to be Native Khan but the Irish jockey reneged on this decision. Instead, he will now saddle Recital in the showpiece event on Saturday. The owner of Native Khan, Ibrahim Araci, insists that Fallon is in breach of contract by riding for another horse and will appeal the decision.
Mr Justice MacDuff recognized that Fallon has acted with “deliberate selfishness” but also commented that, “There is no doubting that an injunction preventing Kieren Fallon from riding in the premier Classic, whatever his behavior, would be severe. Such an injunction would be, for one short day, a restraint of trade.
“The owners of Recital, who for all I know are innocent victims in this, would have difficulty getting a substitute jockey at such a late stage, certainly one of Fallon’s stature. I also have in mind that the betting public to date have placed wagers in the belief that Recital would be partnered by Kieren Fallon. There is no doubt that his chances would be reduced with a different rider.”
The judge later added that, “This is not to be regarded in any way as a win for Kieren Fallon. There is a trial to follow and a final determination will be made.”
In the meantime there’s a race to be won and with the Queen’s horse Carlton House hotly tipped it could be quite the year for the royals.