THE SPORTS BOOK AWARDS INTERNATIONAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE YEAR
Kieren Fallon was one of the world’s greatest jockeys, but his career was littered with controversial incidents. Now, in his powerful and honest autobiography, he tells all.
'The most eagerly anticipated racing autobiography for many years' Greg Wood, Guardian
As a jockey, Kieren Fallon had a unique rapport with his horses, often coaxing them to victory when others had struggled. His skill and commitment made him a punter’s favourite. His magnificent record, which saw him crowned Champion Jockey on six occasions, ensured he became one of racing’s biggest stars.
But that was only ever part of the story. Having come over to the UK from Ireland to make his name, Fallon’s combative nature brought him to the attention of the racing authorities. When he dragged a rival jockey off his mount in 1994, he began a series of run-ins that would eventually see him on trial in the Old Bailey, accused of race fixing. Although the judge eventually ruled that there was no case to answer, the damage to his career and reputation had been done.
In Form, Kieren Fallon provides a searingly honest account of his life, and the pressures he faced to get to the top of his sport, where winning was never enough, and where relaxation came in the shape of a bottle of vodka or a meal that had to be ‘flipped’ immediately to ensure he maintained his weight. He worked with some of the best trainers and won all the biggest races, but true happiness only ever really came to him when he was on the back of a horse – a joy that he still feels now that he has retired from racing as he rides work early in the morning.
Brutally honest as well as entertaining, this is a unique sporting memoir.
Kieren Fallon was born in County Clare in Ireland in 1965, and went on to become one of flat racing's most successful jockeys of all time. He was Champion Jockey six times between 1997 and 2003, winning more than 2250 races. Among his greatest achievements was winning the Derby three times and the Arc de Triomphe twice.
“Form is a fascinating read for anyone interested in horse racing or the life of a jockey."
– Fredricksburg Free Lance-Star
'I’ve always been fascinated by Kieren Fallon; so talented and yet so damaged. So I was drawn like a moth to a flame to his recent autobiographyForm. It doesn’t disappoint... It has not been a life without conflict, but if you look into his haunted, hooded eyes, that does not come as a surprise. What is unexpected, however, is the insight that one gets through the Fallon prism.'
– Charlie Brooks, Daily Telegraph
'This candid and rewarding book...career highlights are left to fight for whatever space remains after honest, expansive accounts of his various scandals... Fallon is certainly honest with himself, and that lifts Form out of the also-ran clutter of the genre and into the winner's enclosure... It's the account of a flawed individual who happens to be a genius at riding horses, as accessible as human nature itself, not simply the life story of a jockey... If it were fiction, it would be a proper page-turner, Dick Francis-esque in its delivery. The reality that this is fact, a life well lived if not always lived well, makes it even more compelling. This piece of Form is strong, solid, difficult to argue with.'
– Steve Dennis, Racing Post
'His story gives us a graphic picture of the downside of racing at the highest level — the pressures, the ‘flipping’ to keep to an unrealistic weight, the travelling grind...For me the best pages are those in which he describes his riding methods, how he used his legs and his body while others used the whip. His story of Kris Kin’s Derby victory is riveting.'
– Robin Oakley, Spectator
– Tom Richmond, Yorkshire Post
'Fallon hasn't left any dirty washing in the laundry basket'