Three-time Derby winner Kieran Fallon has called time on his illustrious riding career, with a chief racing doctor citing depression for the reason. Fallon, who won the title of British champion jockey six times, asked Turf Club’s chief medical officer Dr Adrian McGoldrick to make the announcement on his behalf on Monday morning.
Dr McGoldrick said: “Kieran is suffering from severe depression. When he came to me before getting his licence to ride this year it was clear he was suffering from depression and I treated him with antidepressants. He told me that he hadn’t intended to make a comeback but decided to do so having been encouraged by Michael [O’Callaghan]. But he rang me last week and said his situation had got worse.
“I met him and on Sunday he told me he didn’t feel strong enough to speak to anyone in the media about his situation and asked me to speak on his behalf. He told me that he has lost the motivation to continue his riding career and wanted people to know about his decision to retire. He said it was time to move on once his depression has been managed.
“In recent years he found himself suffering from profound fatigue but nothing physically wrong was found when doctors examined him.” The 51-year-old has been working with Curragh trainer Michael O’Callaghan in Ireland this flat season, where he has won nine times out of 115 rides.
He won the Derby in 1999 for Henry Cecil over Oath, before winning back to back Derbys in 2003 and 2004 for Sir Michael Stoute (above) on Kris Kin and North Light. Over his sometimes controversial career, he was stable jockey to both Cecil and Stoute, and also to Aidan O’Brien.
He rode 16 British Classic winners and six Irish Classic winners including two Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe wins, 30 victories and Royal Ascot and two victories in the Breeders’ Cup. He was banned twice in his career, once while he was awaiting trial for race fixing after being charged with seven others for conspiring to defraud Betfair.
In December 2007 the judge directed the jury at the Old Bailey to find Fallon and his codefendants not guilty due to lack of evidence and his UK riding licence was lifted with immediate effect. He was later banned for six months in 2006 and 18 months in 2009 for testing positive for a prohibited substance.