Canberra galloper to Swoop through Galaxy. The disappointment of missing out on the G1 Oakleigh Plate by the narrowest of margins, can be somewhat diminished for Canberra Trainer Matthew Dale at Rosehill this Saturday, when Fell Swoop lines up in the Galaxy Stakes. He’s $6.50 in early markets which is headed by Gai Waterhouse’s, English. Waterhouse won this race last year with Sweet Idea and again in 2003 with Snowland, who was also the last favourite to win.
1. FLAMBERGE – D Lane
Has won two G1’s including his most recent start in the Oakleigh Plate, and in each of those success he has drawn gates 15 and 16. Great form around some of the countries leading sprinters and chances increase further with any cut in the track.
2. TERRAVISTA – H Bowman (3)
Jockey lost control of the whip at a very critical stage when contesting the G1 Lightning Stakes first up from a spell, and he was caught on the line by a freakish effort by Chautauqua. Has won three from six second-up and like the four week break since the Lightning. Looks well placed and drawn to get every chance.
3. REBEL DANE – D Oliver (15)
Recorded his ninth top five finish in a Group 1 last start when fourth to Turn Me Loose in the Futurity Stakes (1400m). Consistent and competitive in everything he contests, but just keeps finding at least one or two better than him this grade and the gate doesn’t help any.
4. OUR BOY MALACHI – D Dunn (14)
Won’t be able to miss the start like he did last time out in the Canterbury Classic where he disappointed in running fifth (2.7 lengths) to Holler. Previous start saw him defeat the very much in-form solicit by three lengths. Will shoot over from his wide draw and give them something to run down.
5. FAMOUS SEAMUS – J McDonald (11)
Had 59kgs and a wide draw to contend with first up in the G3 Liverpool City Cup but showed little in the straight, finishing second to last. Better horse than that, has popped up in races like this in the past, and with the weight drop and double figure odds, he might be worth throwing in to trifectas etc, for some value.
6. BALL OF MUSCLE – T Clark (9)
First up from a spell, sat on the speed but was no match for the challengers inside the final 100m, finishing sixth (2.1 lengths) behind English. Will go forward again but be kept very honest – the speed here will be on from the jump, and although he drops 3.5kgs and last start was the first time in eighteen starts he had finished outside of the placings, think he might find the last 100m a challenge again.
7. DOTHRAKI – B Shinn (6)
Drew the widest gate in a field of seventeen when contesting the Oakleigh Plate first up from his spell, and his effort to finish seventh (2.2 lengths) was good. Goes better second up – has won three and placed twice from six starts, drawn to get a nice run and rates a genuine place hope for mine.
8. LORD OF THE SKY – Z Purton (5)
Finished last of ten first up off a thirty-two week spell in the G2 Challenge Stakes and off that run and although he has run a nose second to Chautauqua at this level in the past, has had his chance in easier races than this and let punters down.
9. SHIRAZ – B Prebble (10)
Went from strength to strength last time in, and returned with a very encouraging fourth (beaten less than a length) to English in the Challenge Stakes. Ran third in G2 Shorts last time in with 56.5kgs, so attractively weighted here. Has world class jock aboard and should give supporters a real run for their money.
10. BOUNDING – K McEvoy (7)
Joined the Snowden Stable last spring and looked set to take all before here judging by her first start for the yard – winning a G3 by four lengths at Caulfield. However, the 5yo mare has been a touch disappointing in two runs since, the most recent a ninth in the Oakleigh Plate. Needs to lift on that.
11. LUMOSTY – C Williams (12)
Had 58kgs first up in the Listed Bob Hoysted and was ok late, holding her ground in the run home, so not going to judge her seventh place finish too harshly. That said, this is a G1 and whilst she drops down to 52.5kgs, and gets the speed on up front that she needs, it’ll be a big turnaround required.
12. BOSS LANE – S Clipperton (2)
Excellent three weeks ago when third to English in the G2 Challenge Stakes, continuing the stables recent good form. Gets right down in the weights here and drawn to get a cheap run. Been around the money in Listed sprints but despite last start effort, think he may be aiming a touch too high this grade.
13. FELL SWOOP – B Avdulla (8)
Got held up at a crucial stage in the Oakleigh Plate first up from a spell and with an ounce of luck, probably get Flamberge who just nosed him out. Obviously returned in fine order and seems destined for victory at this level – this could be it. Good form, light weight, and maps well from eight where he should be able to get cover and most importantly, stay out of trouble.
14. ENGLISH – T Berry (17)
Excellent win first up from a spell – ducking back to inside and rattling home to score a neck victory in the Challenge Stakes. Great effort against the older horses and her third win from only five career starts. Would have to wonder where she gets to the draw and that makes her current price, for mine, one to stop and consider
15. PITTSBURGH FLYER – C Newitt (4)
Good return to racing from a spell with a fourth placing in the Oakleigh Plate. Race well last time in – mostly against her own sex, but if she does jag a run here, with the jockey of the moment to ride, gate four and a feather weight – a case could be made for her to run a race.
16. GRIANTE – C Williams (1)
Resumed in the Oakleigh plate as well and although she finished twelfth, she didn’t get a crack at them in the straight and wouldn’t mark her effort too harshly. Has popped up in some good races in the past to fill a place, would think that result would be the best she could hope for here.
17. MALAGUERRA – G Boss (13)
Increased his already impressive winning strike rate with another strong win first up at Flemington in the Bob Hoysted (1000m). Always headed for a race like this and if he gains a start, will run well.
18. MISS PROMISCUITY – (16)
Fourth and final emergency – so needs luck to gain a start and even more if she does, to counter this grade and the wide gate.
Keen on Fell Swoop – who probably should be aiming for back-to-back Group 1 after a luckless run in the Oakleigh Plate. From eight, Avdulla should be able to keep him in open space, and let him produce his big finish – which the strong pace will set him up for perfectly. Not a favourites race the Galaxy – the last popular elect to salute was Snowland in 2003 – and from gate 17, think English might be worth risking – despite the impressive win first up, at her current price. Terravista has a great record for this – and the option to miss the Newmarket should prove to be a wise one. Flamberge loves G1’s when drawn out wide, is in great form and the sting out of the track is in his favour – no reason he won’t run well again. Shiraz to round out the selections.
1. FELL SWOOP