Melbourne First For Fell Swoop

Fell Swoop’s liking for Melbourne will see the classy Canberra-trained sprinter head south for the start of his autumn campaign.

Trainer Matt Dale is confident Fell Swoop will regain his best form after he pulled up with the thumps when placed last in the $10 million Everest at Randwick in October.

Fell Swoop was one of the first horses picked up by an Everest slot holder when Inglis negotiated a deal with his big syndicate of Canberra owners on the strength of his excellent Group One form over the last two years.

While yet to win at the elite level Fell Swoop has been placed in five G1 races including the last two running of the TJ Smith at Randwick won by Chautauqua.

The $2.5 million TJ Smith (1200m) at Randwick on April 14 is again his ultimate autumn goal but the 6YO will get his grounding in Melbourne where he has raced seven times for two wins and four placings.

Fell Swoop’s Melbourne record includes Listed wins at Caulfield and Moonee Valley and G1 placings in the Oakleigh Plate, Manikato Stakes and Darley Classic.

Fell Swoop resumed training seven weeks ago and is getting a laid back preparation as Dale is training him out of his satellite stable at Moruya on the NSW south coast where the sprinter can enjoy the rural environment and beach work.

He has another six weeks of work including a jump out at Moruya and a barrier trial at Goulburn before he heads to Melbourne for his first-up assignment in the G2 Bob Hoysted (1000m) at Flemington on March 3.

Dale then plans to target the G1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 24 before he runs in the TJ Smith third up.

“The TJ is his race but it would be nice to get that elusive Group One win in the William Reid before he returns to Sydney,” Dale said.