Canberra sprinter Fell Swoop has stood up to be counted in his introduction to Group One racing, but trainer Matthew Dale acknowledges a bigger challenge awaits him in the TJ Smith Stakes.
“It’s his first time racing at weight-for-age which is going to be a big ask, and it’s an extremely strong field,” Dale said.
“But we thought his two runs this preparation have been super. He’s up to the 1200 metres, third-up, and we’re very happy with him going into the race but we’re under no illusions as to the job at hand.”
Fell Swoop has earned his chance at Saturday’s $2.5 million race at Randwick with a luckless second in the Oakleigh Plate and a fourth in The Galaxy.
Dale says the four-year-old, winner of eight of his 12 starts, is a real competitor and has come a long way since winning his maiden 15 months ago but still isn’t the finished product and will continue to get better.
“I think over the next 12 to 18 months he can cement himself as a high-class sprinter,” Dale said.
To be ridden by Zac Purton after Brenton Avdulla elected to ride Terravista, Fell Swoop is at $21 with Exosphere the $2.70 favourite over Chautauqua at $3.40.
“The pressure is off in regards to the fact you’re hardly talked about leading into the race,” Dale said.
“It’s a big prize money race on the big stage and we just want to see him be very competitive and acquit himself well.
“I suppose if he could run top five I’d be rapt.”
Fell Swoop could press on to Brisbane with the Stradbroke Handicap another potential target as Dale believes he would be suited in a fast-run 1400m handicap.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au