It’s been a month since Fell Swoop continued a spring winning streak but trainer Matthew Dale knows first-hand the break from racing will not disadvantage the promising sprinter at Randwick.
Dale rides Fell Swoop in his most important gallops and the trainer has given his latest stable star a favourable report going into Saturday’s City Tattersalls Club Lightning (1100m).
“Sometimes stopwatches don’t tell you everything you need to know and being able to get on their back and feel how they are is a big asset,” Dale said.
“He certainly felt well within himself on Tuesday when I worked him.”
Fell Swoop hasn’t been seen since making it eight wins in 10 starts with a Listed victory at Caulfield on September 19 – his second Melbourne win at that level in as many starts.
The five-year-old returns to Sydney racing for the first time since beating Music Magnate – the winner of two subsequent races – and Dale is happy to head north from his Canberra stable instead of going south.
“We were considering a Listed race at Caulfield on Wednesday but he’s still a little bit at sea on his Melbourne leg,” Dale said.
“Both starts down there I thought he had been vulnerable at that way of going, albeit he’s overcome that and won.
“I thought this deep into a preparation I would like to give him one more run the Sydney way and then more than likely he will go out for a spell.”
Fell Swoop has opened favourite at $3.20 over Craftiness ($5.50), another sprinter returning from Melbourne after running out of steam in a Caulfield sprint.
Trainer John Sargent will experiment with a gear change on Eloping, a quality mare racing for the first time for his stable and major backer Segenhoe Stud in the Lightning.
“She will have ear muffs on for the first time and she has trialled well but whatever she does she will improve on,” Sargent said.
Under the training of Peter Morgan and Craig Widdison, Eloping won six races, including four at stakes level.
In contention for a start in the feature sprint for open-class horses on Victoria Derby day on October 31, Eloping will be first-up since losing form in a three-start autumn campaign.