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Wolverhampton: Fallon unearths a Diamond in 35-1 double.

Byline: Andrew King

KIEREN FALLON has ridden winners for a host of trainers since moving south seven years ago, but a

one-time happy association with Eric Alston had been lost in the process - as the trainer reflected after the champion's win on Johnston's Diamond in the sprint handicap.

"Kieren used to ride most of my winners when he was based up north," said Alston, "but it's been a long while since he's had one for me."

In fact, it was back in 1999 when Fallon last delivered a winner for the Preston trainer, but he was always looking good on Johnston's Diamond here and did just enough on the 8-1 shot to score by a cheeky neck from Playtime Blue, with Alston's other runner Time N Time Again a fast-closing third.

Alston had actually fancied Time N Time Again to come out on top, and that horse's rider Jimmy Quinn reckoned he would have won but for being checked on the home bend. "I had a couple of quid on Jimmy's mount, and that's probably why the other one won," said Alston, "but I'm not complaining."

Fallon doubled up on Consonant for David Bridgwater in the mile handicap, riding the

ex-Godolphin horse to a neck victory over Te Quiero, the pair finishing well clear in what had looked quite a hot contest.

This was a third win on the bounce for Consonant, who had been cheaply bought at last autumn's sales. "I hope there's still more to come from him," said Bridgwater of the lightly raced seven-year-old.

Stef Liddiard's all-weather team has been in fine form this winter and she added the previously frustrating Aguila Loco to her list of winners when the gelding responded to a positive ride from Mickey Fenton to take the second division of the seven-furlong handicap.

"I was a bit worried that if he got crowded on the home bend he might jack it in," said Liddiard. "But he battled on well today and he seems to be better suited by cheekpieces, which help him to concentrate, than by blinkers, which cause him to race too freely."

Mount Royale, now back at Nigel Tinkler's yard after spells at a couple of other stables last year, is evidently enjoying life back at Malton and he followed up a recent Southwell win when making all in the first division of the seven-furlong handicap.

Ylang Ylang, who failed to measure up when trained by Aidan O'Brien in Ireland last year, took the nine-furlong maiden a shade cosily under Michael Tebbutt on her second outing since joining William Jarvis's yard.

at a glance

Star performance

Kieren Fallon, with a

35-1 double on Johnston's Diamond and Consonant, gave a touch of class to some average racing

All Chinese to me

Maiden result - 1st Ylang Ylang, 2nd Hsi Wang Mu, 3rd Zuloago

Ride of the day

Kim Tinkler clearly gets on well with Mount Royale and gave the

six-year-old a fine ride to repel all-comers in the first division of the seven-furlong handicap

mResults and analysis start page 71
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 21, 2004
Words:508
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