© Photo Healy RacingKieren Fallon is excited about riding on the same card as his son, Cieren, at Doncaster on Wednesday.
The six-times champion jockey makes his return to the saddle in the Mondialiste Leger Legends race on board Nigel Tinkler’s Kilbaha Lady.
The likes of Sir Anthony McCoy, Mick Kinane, Joseph O’Brien and Charlie Swan are on the roll of honour and Fallon, famed for his competitiveness, would love to add his name to the list.
Fallon retired in 2016, but has been keeping his eye in by riding out regularly for Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor. He is also due to take part in a similar event at the Curragh on Sunday — the Pat Smullen Champions Race for Cancer Trials Ireland.
While looking forward to his return to action on Town Moor, it is the prospect of sharing the weighing room with his champion apprentice-elect son which Fallon is most pleased about.
Fallon said: “Obviously I’m looking forward to the race, but I never once thought I’d get the chance to ride on the same card as Cieren jnr, so I’m very excited about being able to do that. He’s been telling me I should come out of retirement!
“Also I’m really looking forward to Sunday and going back over to Ireland for a cause which is very worthwhile. This is far from a warm-up, though.
“It would be great if we could both ride a winner on the same afternoon, that would be something to treasure.”
Fallon jnr also has a ride for Tinkler on the opening afternoon of the William Hill St Leger Festival after being booked to partner Roundhay Park in the concluding Parkes Bros Roofing Contractors Handicap.
The Fallon-Tinkler relationship goes back a long way with Julie Fallon, ex-wife of Kieren and mother of Cieren, working for the trainer in the past.
Tinkler said: “Kieren looks as fit now as when he was riding — he looks in great shape.
“I’m delighted to have him riding for us as he’s ridden a good few winners for us in the past and his wife rode for us, too.
“Kilbaha Lady ran very well at Newcastle last time to finish second and she seems well in herself. Hopefully she goes to Doncaster with a good each-way chance.”
Of Fallon jnr, the trainer added: “He’s got a different style to his father, but he’s certainly a very good rider.
“This will be his first ride for me and I hope he’s got a good chance. Roundhay Park has been a bit disappointing this year, but at the same time he’s run some good races without winning.”
Noel Fehily rides course and distance winner Hammer Gun for trainer Derek Shaw. Fehily retired in March after a stellar career, during which he rode more than 1,000 National Hunt winners — including in the King George VI Chase and the Champion Hurdle.
Fehily said: “I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle. The horse has some decent form to his name and he’s a course a distance winner, so hopefully he’ll run well — I just hope the jockey doesn’t blow up.
“I’d be very keen to win it. It’ll be good fun and it’s for a good cause, but we’re all competitive at the end of the day and I’m sure we’ll all be doing our best to come out on top.”
Andrew Thornton has helped organise the Leger Legends races and is hoping to time his effort better than when second on Les Eyre’s Detachment 12 months ago.
The Gold Cup-winning jockey partners the same trainer’s Valley Of Fire on Wednesday — a winner on his latest appearance at Redcar.
“It would certainly be nice to go one better than last year,” said Thornton.
“I’ll try to remember that the furlong marker isn’t the winning post this year!
“It’s a great line-up and as ever I’m sure it will be very competitive. It will be a great day.”
Grand National-winning jockey Timmy Murphy is on board John Quinn’s Ascot Week, while former jockey turned award-winning presenter Luke Harvey partners Richard Fahey’s Windsor Cross.
Fahey saddles two runners, with Sammy Jo Bell on board Dubai Acclaim for her former boss.
Ollie Pears trains and rides Placebo Effect, while Brian Harding — winner of the race two years ago — is on Tim Easterby’s One To Go.
The field of 16 runners is completed by Destroyer (Colin Bolger), Dream Walker (Jamie Mackay), Elusive Heights (Gary Bardwell), Kannapolis (Barry Keniry), Poet’s Pride (Charlie Poste), Sands Chorus (Victoria Smith), Whatwouldyouknow (Derek McGaffin) and Flying Dragon (Adrian Nicholls).