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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Decide For Yourself

- Posted finally on You Tube is this complete video of Kieren Fallon's ride on Ballinger Ridge.

This race is the one that the Crown is focusing on in its race fixing trial; on Monday, it brought in its expert witness, Sydney, Australia chief steward Ray Murrihy, to testify. I suppose that they brought this gentleman in from Down Under to convey a sense of impartiality.

Mr Murrihy said: "I am in no doubt he should have won. It was a quite extraordinary ride..."

"I do not think I have seen in my experience a horse ease down in that part of the race and it undoubtedly cost him the win." [Racing and Sports (Australia)]
Murrihy also said that he would have conducted inquiries into 13 of the 27 races in question.

But this is the race that has gotten the most attention, probably because it's the least subtle in its alleged chicanery. Now we can watch it and decide for ourselves. And indeed, you'll see Fallon easing up on Ballinger Ridge, thinking he had the race won (that being the non-suspicious view). When Fallon peeks back, he sees Rye coming, and starts to ride again, but it's too late. Still, he just barely missed getting the win. However, I also see that Fallon did shake up the reins immediately after turning for home, before gearing down. Why would he have done that if he wanted to lose?

Now, I must admit that, having spoken at Monmouth to Chris McGrath, the UK reporter whose work I admire very much and who told me that the case is basically rubbish, I've taken a more skeptical view of the charges. But still, after watching this tape, if this is the best the Crown has, it doesn't seem like much. Sure, Fallon should have won the race, but it's certainly not the first time I've seen a jockey think he had a race won, and started riding again after taking a look behind him. While not at all comparable to this race, one could make a similar case against Calvin Borel for his ride in the Preakness if he really, really wanted to.


Brett said...

Agree with you totally on the ride. I mean it was a terrible ride by Fallon but in no way does it seem like he meant to lose it.

You are right as they turn for home he kind of lets loose but notices no one is coming so why use u a good horse. Then once he notices he misjudged the rest of the field he goes oh **** and tries again to little success.

Very similar to the Borel ride, and I think everyone would agree in that Borel was in no way trying to lose.

Anonymous said...

I also agree, this looks like a guy who misjudged his lead more than anything else. I think it is the constant peeking back and the gear down that makes it look bad but to me this is what I would expect if the jock thought he had it won already.