Top Sprinter Falvelon Successfull Defends Doomben Title

Falvelon established himself as one of the best ever Australian sprinters with a successful defense of the Doomben 10,000 (Aust-I) in Brisbane on May 18. Partnered by the country's leading jockey, Damian Oliver, the 5 year-old defeated grade I winners Show a Heat and Lord Essex, with margins of three-quarters of a length and a short head.

Despite a stellar career which includes the past two editions of the Hong Kong Sprint (HK-2) on International day, Falvalon's only group I success had been in the Doomben 10,000 last year - also the first for his conditioner Dan Bougoure - his father Doug the Australian handler of Strawberry Road.

His eight graded success and 14 from 27 starts has advanced Falvalon's earnings by $315,000 to almost $3.3 million. The best son of the deceased Alannon (by Noalcoholic) is the 28th Australasian-bred to pass $3m. He is the third to successfully defend a 10,000.

The name of the weight-for-age sprint is gained from its purse in the 1950s, the famous 1,350 meters contest now carries a stake of $500,000 (Australian funds). During WWII the race was moved to the sand track at Albion Park as Doomben hosted American and Australian troops.

As expected in the 70th edition Lord Essex led, as he had when he defeated Falvelon in prep race the Brisbane Turf Club Cup (aust-II), over 1,200m of Doomben on April 27. A fitter Falvelon was more adept at stalking this time and easily ran past the also game Scenic son in midstretch. Show A Heart was unlucky not to finish closer after covering extra ground just off the speed from the 11 gate, two outside the winner.

Show A Heart, the Caulfield Guineas-winning son of Brave Warrior, goes to Glenlogan Park Stud in Queensland this year, the winner of $1.6 million scheduled to be joined by Falvelon in 2003. Both are to contest the$1 million Stradbroke Handicap (Aust-I) on June 8. Falvelon will then attempt a threepeat in Hong Kong in December.