Fell Swoop - Matt Dale Opts For Manikato Stakes

 Star Canberra galloper Fell Swoop will take on the best when she lines up in Saturday’s 2016 Manikato Stakes Group 1 (1200m) at Mooney Valley.

Fell Swoop ($16) will meet the likes of champion sprinter Chautauqua ($2.25) and Golden Slipper winner Captalist ($6.0) who head the early markets.

Fell Swoop resumed with a credible third in the 2016 Schillaci Stakes Group 2 at Caulfield on 8 October ridden by Hugh Bowman.

“Originally after the first-up run we were thinking of the Manikato, or the old Sallinger up the straight at Flemington a week later,” Dale says.  

“My initial thoughts were towards three weeks between runs. 

"But after five or six days it was apparent that Fell Swoop had pulled up really, really well and that led to the decision to go to the Manikato.”

Dale believes Fell Swoop isn’t at his best at Caulfield in a sit and sprint situation. He says the galloper performed strongly in the Oakleigh Plate that venue, but they ran along.

“When he won the Cup Club Stakes at Mooney Valley last year he was a lot more fluid in his action and he seemed more balanced around there.”

Dale is happy to take on the top liners again and says the ear muffs will come off on Saturday.

Fell Swoop came straight back to Canberra after the Schillaci and will travel back to Melbourne on Wednesday night along with stablemate Rocket Commander.

Rocket Commander impressed when beaten just 1.5L behind Euro Angel  in the 2016 Ladies Day Vase Group 3 at Caulfield last Wednesday —  her second run for Dale since transferring from South Australia.

Dale says the mare has continues to please and at this stage will back-up in Saturday’s Tesio Stakes Group 3 (1600m) for mares at Mooney Valley.

“Rocket Commander was obviously a little bit unlucky at the top of the straight at Caulfield when she didn’t get the run we were looking for, but hit the line.

“At her first run for the stable at Newcastle we were still learning about her, but after that she started to tick a lot more boxes.

“For a mare that has been quite quirky, she presented in the yard really well at Caulfield — both physically and mentally —  and ran right up to that. She’s ticked along nicely since.

“Rocket Commander is better with some sting out of the track and an Friday they are predictiong quite a lot of rain.”

Dale says his mare Hermosa Beach has come on since here win in the Tony Campbell Memorial Cup at Canberra and belives she will be very competitive in Saturday’s mares BM 75 at Randwick