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Just champion!

Byline: TONY ELVES

THERE were smiles all round in the winner's enclosure at Doncaster yesterday when Frankie Dettori was presented with his third jockeys' championship by his arch- rival and outgoing champion Kieren Fallon.

As well as receiving the official Jockeys' Association trophy, Dettori, on behalf of the Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy, was handed a cheque for pounds 1,920 after the Racing Post and Racing UK, the title's joint-sponsors, donated pounds 10 per winner to the champion's chosen charity. Fallon also received pounds 5 for each of his 177 winners to give to the charity of his choice.

The pair had been locked in a ferocious battle until Dettori forged clear last month, but they remain great friends outside of the heat of competition on the racecourse and the new champion was delighted to receive his latest accolade.

Dettori said: "I've got some great competition and for the last seven years Kieren has set some unbelievable standards. Kieren, Darryll Holland and Seb Sanders went hammer and tongs and all those guys deserve it as much as I do.

"The [Godolphin] team were in fine form throughout the season and I owe the championship to them, but I also owe it to my wife Catherine, as she gave me the push to go and do it again."

Ladbrokes installed Dettori at even money to collect the championship again in 2005, with Fallon at 6-5, but the Italian is not underestimating his task.

Dettori added: "It's going to be hard. Kieren never drops the ball and I'm looking forward to starting again at the beginning of next season."

Fallon, gracious in defeat, would not be drawn on his chances of regaining the title next year. He said: "I'm taking a holiday, I've got a couple of options. I've got no plans on whether I'm going for the championship next year - it takes a lot out of you. I'd like to go away and improve my riding. I want to get my confidence back."

Dettori had been sprayed with champagne by weighing-room colleagues Holland and Kevin Darley before being presented with his trophy alongside his wife and four children, but was doing the spraying himself after Willie Ryan had had the final mount of his career on Reg Hollinshead's Goldeva in the Wentworth Stakes.

Ryan, 39, achieved a feat not yet accomplished by Dettori when winning the Derby on Benny The Dip by a short head in 1997.

Ryan said: "My grandfather [Willie Stephenson] trained a Derby winner and my father [Denis Ryan] was a jockey, and as a kid I always wanted to win the Derby. When Benny The Dip won, it was definitely the highlight of my career."

Tom Queally was presented with the award as champion apprentice and was clearly delighted with his progress since moving to Britain in February.

Queally said: "It has been fantastic. I've had a lot of support from trainers, and Barney Curley has been the man. When I came here it took a little while to get going, but falling in with David Loder helped a lot and it has snowballed from there."

Through the Racing Post/Racing UK sponsorship, Queally received a cheque for pounds 500 and runner-up Nicky Mackay will get pounds 250.

2004 CHAMPIONS

Jockey: Frankie Dettori

Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor

Owner: Godolphin

Apprentice: Tom Queally

Amateur (m): Simon Walker

Amateur (f): Sarah Bosley

CAPTION(S):

Frankie Dettori, surrounded by his family, exchanges a kiss for the champion jockeys' trophy with runner-up Kieren Fallon; Brough Scott rewards champion apprentice Tom Queally; Nicky Mackay, runner-up to Queally, receives his cheque; Kieren Fallon is given a cheque for pounds 885 for his chosen charity
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Nov 7, 2004
Words:612
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