Kieren Fallon: ‘I wake up and want to go to work. Before this there was nothing’

The former champion jockey sought psychiatric help after facing years in prison for a crime he did not commit and falling victim to a News of the World sting but his smile has returned at last

The fall of Kieren Fallon ruined his career and almost took his life. Stage by stage, set up by the News of the World or facing years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Fallon was broken down. A six-times champion jockey – who won the Derby three times, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe twice and the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas nine times – Fallon was always more comfortable in the company of horses than people. He eventually sought refuge in a psychiatric hospital.

It’s a relief to see his recovery and spend the morning with Fallon at Godolphin’s yard in Newmarket, where the retired 52-year-old rides most days for the trainer Saeed bin-Suroor. “I wake up in the morning and want to go to work,” Fallon says in his familiar racing mumble, the County Clare accent hardly changed by his bruising years in England. “I even smile. I take the piss and have a laugh with the lads in the yard. Before this there was nothing. Really, since the Old Bailey, there was nothing left.”

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