Fallon key to Dark Emerald shining at Goodwood

Kieren Fallon
Kieren Fallon
Markov and jockey Tom Bellamyon their way to victory. Picture: Fontwell Park

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Dark Emerald’s bid for success in the nine-furlong Bibendum Handicap hinges on the availability of jockey Kieren Fallon.

The experienced Irish jockey steered the three-year-old son of Dark Angel to victory in the Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park Handicap on his seasonal reappearance at Yarmouth in April.

He disappointed at Sandown under William Buick last time out, though.

And while trainer Brendan Powell is keen to have a shot at the feature contest on Goodwood’s Friday evening card (7.25pm), he wants Fallon to mastermind the bid.

The Lambourn trainer said: ‘If Kieren Fallon can ride Dark Emerald, which I think he will be able to do, then the horse will run.

‘He has been in great form since his run at Sandown.

‘But I felt William, having not ridden the horse before, probably didn’t make enough use of him.

‘He was worried about getting the trip (10 furlongs) but I can see Dark Emerald staying a mile and a half in time.

‘When Kieren rode him for the first time at Newbury last year, he came back and said we need to make plenty of use of him because all he does is stay.

‘He went a right good gallop at Yarmouth and every time a horse came to him he found a bit more.

‘He is lazy like that at home but very genuine and needs something with a bit of speed to take him along.

‘He was second to Olympic Glory at Goodwood last year.

‘And he ran against some other nice types but always put up a good performance despite being quite weak still.

‘Since Sandown, his work has improved and I have always thought he would be better than an 88-rated horse.

‘I’m still sure he will be and he could be a horse to take abroad for some Listed races later in the season.’

A total of 25 horses have been entered in the £12,000 race.

They include William Haggas’ dual winner Danal Al Atheer, One Pekan and Persepolis.

Newmarket maiden winner Tarikhi is the top-rated horse in the field at 89.

Goodwood Mirage, who is owned by the Goodwood Racehorse Owners Group and trained in Patching by William Knight, has also been entered.

Meanwhile, Richard Hannon will whittle down his challenge from his four possibles – Ronaldinho, Endorsing, Everleigh and Emulating.