Fallon to give up York rides to partner The Lir Jet in French 2,000 Guineas
Qatar Racing's second jockey Cieren Fallon is expected to miss next week’s Dante meeting at York as he will be in the midst of a seven-day period of isolation that will enable him to ride The Lir Jet in the French 2,000 Guineas on May 16.
Newmarket trainer Michael Bell is already well advanced with the logistics of making the trip to Longchamp, which includes increased paperwork in the aftermath of Brexit on January 1 and is also hindered by the Covid-19 regulations currently in place in France.
Winner of the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot last year, The Lir Jet made an encouraging return to action when finishing a close third to Chindit in the Group 3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury last month, with the winner finishing a respectable fifth in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket last weekend.
French 2,000 Guineas betting
Paddy Power: 5-2 St Mark's Basilica, 7-2 Poetic Flare, 8 Mehmento, Parchemin, 10 Policy Of Truth, 12 Sealiway, 14 The Lir Jet, Van Gogh, 16 bar.
Bell said: “There is more paperwork and administration to be done than before, which is not straightforward, but it’s not helped by the current Covid-19 situation over there. It’s a bit of a double whammy.
"The logistics as they stand mean we will be sending the horse over on the Friday, a day earlier than usual to allow extra recovery time when he gets there. This is because the travel time is now 12 hours rather the previous eight due to increased delays at either side of the tunnel which didn’t exist beforehand.”
Regarding the choice of rider for The Lir Jet, Bell said: “Jockeys now have to isolate for seven days beforehand if they want to ride in France, and as things stand Cieren Fallon is going to do it.
"The horse is in good form and it will be a good experience for him riding in a French Classic.”
Although Bell’s staff will be able to take the horse to Paris, they are currently not allowed to go racing due to Covid restrictions but Bell has got around that with some assistance from Francis-Henri Graffard.
He added: “Thankfully Monsieur Graffard, who trains for Qatar Racing, has said he’ll have him and saddle for us at the races, which is something Johnny Murtagh did for us last year when he went to Ireland for the Phoenix Stakes.”
Dewhurst winner St Mark's Basilica is the 5-2 ante-post favourite for the Classic at Longchamp with Betfair Sportsbook and Paddy Power, with The Lir Jet priced up at 14-1 with both firms.