The Fallon Factor: “I’ve always liked him and think he can put up a big run here”
The former Champion Jockey previews every race on day three of Royal Ascot
Gold Cup day at Royal Ascot will always be associated with Yeats. To win the race four times in a row is incredible and he rightly deserves to be remembered as a legend. I was on board Yeats when he won his first Gold Cup in 2006 – and to think he didn’t even go off favourite in a race he went on to utterly dominate. Riding him was like driving a Rolls Royce. He was a big, classy individual and he had everything you’d want in top-class horse. He had immense talent and the most wonderful attitude to it all. He was a brilliant stayer, but I won a Coronation Cup on him at Epsom as well. He was a horse that oozed class in everything he did.
You have to start with McErin in this race. He’s been putting in ‘bullet workouts’ in America and the times are seriously fast. He’s drawn very well and you write off Wesley Ward at your peril. However, I do like Santry. He was an easy winner last time when he beat another runner here called Consequences. That horse’s trainer David O’Meara doesn’t just come down to make up the numbers and wear a silly hat, so it’s notable for Santry’s chances. It’d be great for Declan Carroll as well. He’s a good guy and an excellent trainer.
I love Benbatl and he’s a better horse than our other horse Tamleek. I thought Bennbatl would win the Dante but he was ridden too aggressively. He did well to finish second and ran a great race in the Derby to be fifth when he didn’t stay. I think this race is between him and Mirage Dancer.
A lot of the good mile and a half fillies go for the Oaks, so the ones that haven’t quite made it there tend to end up here. Alluringly is the one that appeals to me the most and I’d like to see her come home in front.
Order Of St George will go off favourite for this, but if they don’t go a serious gallop he could be found out. Sheikhzayedroad is a tough, battle-hardened horse and his form has improved going up in trip and being ridden more prominently. I’ve always liked him and think he can put up a big run here.
We’ve got two interesting runners in this race. Leader’s Legacy hasn’t done anything but improve but I’m not too sure about his draw. Also, to be frank, I much prefer our other horse Leshlaa. I love this horse. The feel he gives you in fantastic and he definitely rides like a Group horse in his work at home. I’ve got no concerns about the trip and put a line through his last run as the ground was too soft.
I’m strongly against the favourite Atty Persse in this. My preference is for Majoris and he can go well despite his big price.