03/08/2004 12:00AM

Fallon gets 21-day ban for ride


The British Jockey Club has imposed a 21-day suspension on Kieren Fallon for his controversial ride aboard Ballinger Ridge at Lingfield Park on March 2.

The group was, however, careful to point out that the suspension concerns only the offense of not riding out a finish. Ballinger Ridge had a 10-length lead at one point in the one-mile maiden race and still led eventual winner Rye by four lengths at the eighth pole with a casual Fallon looking over his shoulder. With his lead diminishing, Fallon did not pick up the reins again until the sixteenth pole, and Rye caught him on the line.

The Jockey Club announced that it will investigate allegations made in the News of the World on Sunday that before the race Fallon told reporters that Rye would be the winner. Betfair, which runs a betting exchange service, had earlier reported unusual betting patterns before the race.

Fallon was involved in a fracas on Monday morning at Stansted Airport south of London, where he was returning from a weekend in Malaga, Spain. With a crush of television and newspaper cameramen awaiting him, Fallon pushed his way through the crowd, knocking at least one camera to the ground.