Kieren Fallon has named winning a third successive Derby as his ambitious target for the 2005 season as he cements his new partnership with Aidan O'Brien.
Despite only being in the high-profile role for a matter of weeks, Fallon appears at ease in the trainer's company and the pair look more like old comrades than fresh-faced business partners.
O'Brien has taken to Fallon's experienced racing mind, with the jockey equally impressed with the trainer's mighty string and down-toearth approach.
Standing in the lavish surroundings of Ballydoyle, with rolling green fields a world apart from the traffic jams he left behind, Fallon said: "I don't miss riding every day in England as I ride out every day here.
"I enjoy being here and I come most days, as well as riding out for David Wachman two days a week.
"In England you were hours in the car every day, stuck in traffic on motorways, on the phone 24 hours a day, and it all gets a bit much.
"It's very exciting to have left that behind and come through those gates, where there is a lot of history.
" Vincent O'Brien and Lester Piggott had some great years here and hopefully that can continue with Aidan - he's won everything and can hopefully do it all again.
"You have everything you need here and it is all private. In Newmarket, you had to share gallops. It allows you to look after horses better and you can bring them on slowly.
"To me, this is just another season and it isn't anything to get worried about, but it would be nice to win the Derby again and that would be my main aim."
Fallon has now held three of the most pressurised jobs in racing, having been attached to Sir Michael Stoute, Henry Cecil and now O'Brien.
"Trainers all have their own styles and Henry, Sir Michael and Aidan all have
their own ways," said Fallon. "Aidan and Stoutey treat their horses as individuals, so are similar in that way."
Fallon looks likely to partner the stable's Footstepsinthesand in Saturday's
UltimatePoker. com 2000 Guineas, but is unsure about his Vodafone Derby mount.
"I couldn't say as the horses haven't been asked to do too much with the weather. You often never know what the Derby horses are until they run," said the former champion.
"We always knew North Light would be our Derby horse before he won last year, but there was one of the Queen's that was working better than him at home and he ended up going to Brighton!
"Gypsy King and Grand Central would be the two obvious ones, but you can see horses come out and win maidens and emerge as Derby horses, so you never know."
O'Brien is clearly happy with his new stable jockey and enjoys the fact that he has an experienced racing head.
"I'll have about nine older horses in training this year and might look at coming to England more often, especially with Kieren on the team," he said.
"He can sit on a horse and get to know it very quickly and he knows all the races in England. We would know all the ones here, but might forget about the odd race in England, whereas Kieren knows them all and the tracks, too."
All involved in the powerful Ballydoyle stable, deep in County Tipperary, are hoping 2005 proves more fruitful than last season, in which the yard managed to capture only three Group One races.
That was in stark contrast to 2001, when O'Brien won 23 Group One prizes.
"I haven't set a target for the season but if everything is as fit and well this time next season, I'll be very happy," he said.
"Everybody gives their full commitment and it is almost harder on all the staff than myself if things don't go to plan."
With his usual crop of 80 two-year-olds and 40-45 three-year-olds plus, and with Fallon on board at the track, the second coming of Ballydoyle looks a possibility at least.