Fell Swoop has shown himself to be a horse on the rise and the sprinter gets his first chance to try to shine at stakes level in a Listed sprint in Melbourne.
Canberra trainer Matthew Dale has chosen Saturday’s The Cup Club Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley as Fell Swoop’s introduction to stakes company.
A winner of six of his eight starts including his past two in Sydney, Fell Swoop is also entered for the Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick but Dale confirmed Fell Swoop will be heading to Melbourne on Thursday night to run at Moonee Valley.
Fell Swoop is the $2.80 favourite.
“I’ve got no doubt that he’s a stakes-class horse,” Dale said.
“It’s just a matter of there’s obviously some variables there on Saturday. It’s his first time racing the Melbourne way of going, first time on a tight circuit and he’s going up in grade at the same time.
“There’s a few variables there for him but I’ve got no doubt about his ability to mix it with that level of company.”
The trainer felt Fell Swoop’s latest win at Randwick when dropping back to 1000m indicated the gelding was looking for a bit further and the handicap conditions of the Moonee Valley race suit.
“Being able to secure Damien Oliver and a nice barrier, it made our decision pretty easy to make,” Dale said.
While Fell Swoop hasn’t raced the anti-clockwise direction of Melbourne racing, Dale said the four-year-old trots and canters that way of going three times a week and has done in his past two campaigns.
The trainer was delighted with the way Fell Swoop galloped that way of going earlier this week at Canberra.
“He galloped as fluently as any of my horse’s I’ve brought down (to Melbourne) and traditionally they have all handled Melbourne way of going really well,” he said.
“I don’t see that as a big problem.”