F is for FALVELON: Australia’s International Flag-bearer…

Sep 30, 2014

The following was published in The Thoroughbred Racing History Association Inc newsletter written by Mark Mazzaglia

Falvelon wasn’t the only stable star for fledging trainer Danny Bougoure in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  The stunning stallion was also the flag bearer for Australian racing on the world stage.

After winning his first seven starts and three Group 2 races in Brisbane and Melbourne, Bougoure was keen to show off Falvelon to the rest of the world and ventured to Hong Kong in the Spring of 2000 to take on the best sprinters on the planet.

With champion Melbourne jockey Damien Oliver in the saddle, Falvelon duly did Bougoure and Australia proud and returned home with the trophy for winning the Group 3 HK$8m Hong Kong Sprint over 1000m at Sha Tin.

With that history-making win under his belt, Falvelon then went on to win the first of his two Group 1 $500,000 Doomben 10,000s (1350m) at Doomben with Michael Cahill in the saddle during the winter of 2001 before returning to Sha Tin in the Spring to make it back-to-back wins in the Hong Kong Sprint which had been elevated to Group 2 status with a prizemoney increase to HK$12m.

The second Hong Kong Sprint win followed by the Doomben 10,000 win was enough to see Falvelon crowned as the Australian Champion Sprinter for the 2000-2001.

And the flashy five-year-old stallion then gave voters no choice but to let him retain the Australian Champion Sprinter’s Crown after winning his second Doomben 10,000 in 2002.

But the Falvelon story started well before those glory days with the Alannon colt going through his two-year-old season undefeated from four starts.

At his first trip to the races on October 10, 1998, Falvelon showed the Eagle Farm crowd a preview of what was to come in the next five years when he stormed home to win the Listed $50,000 J F Meynink Stakes over 1000m for the two-year-old colts and geldings after missing the start.

Falvelon then went on to win his next three starts as a two-year-old and continuing his winning streak at the beginning of his three-year-old season with three more wins, which included the Group 3 $100,000 The Chivas Regal over 1200m at Flemington.

Bougoure then decided to take on the best in the land in 2000 Melbourne Autumn Carnival and even though he didn’t win a Group 1 that campaign, he showed that he was well and truly able to mix it with the best sprinters in Australia.

First up with Darren Beadman aboard, Falvelon chased home the mighty Testa Rossa when second in the Group 1 $250,000 Lightning Stakes over 1000m up the Flemington Straight.  Then with Damien Oliver having his first ride on the three-year-old, he was runner-up again this time to Sports in the Group 1 $300,000 Oakleigh Plate over 1100m at Caulfield.  And with Oliver in the saddle again, Falvelon was beaten less than a length when third to Miss Moneypenny in the Group 1 $500,000 Newmarket Handicap over 1200m back at Flemington.

After a short freshen up Bougoure was able to produce Falvelon to win his first race at weight-for-age when he took out the Group 2 $150,000 Carlton Cup (now the Group 1 BTC Cup) over 1200m at Doomben during the 2000 Brisbane Winter Carnival.

The rest is history with Falvelon going on to win 15 races from 37 starts with almost $4 million in earnings and Falvelon was able to win at least one race in each year from its two-year season until he retired in 2003 as a six-year-old.