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Fell Swoop Fell Swoop has had his first gallop as he builds towards his return

Fell Swoop has had his first gallop as he builds towards his return to racing but trainer Matthew Dale is yet to lock in his first Group One target for the year.

The sprinter was placed in four Group One races in 2016 with his most recent his third in the Darley Classic at the end of the Melbourne spring carnival.

The gelding is set to resume next month with two Group One sprints in Melbourne the options for his return.

“He had a few bits of pace work last week and had his first gallop back on Tuesday,” Dale said.

“His workload is starting to progress.

“He’s coming along nicely and everything is on track for him.

“He’ll either kick off in the Lightning Stakes or the Oakleigh Plate in February and be aimed third-up into the TJ Smith Stakes again.”

Fell Swoop finished second to Chautauqua in last year’s $2 million TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick during the autumn carnival after a luckless second in the Oakleigh Plate and fourth in the Galaxy.

During his three-start spring campaign he was also a close second in the Group One Manikato Stakes before his Darley Classic placing.

Dale said there was no pressure to nominate where Fell Swoop begins.

The Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington is on February 18 with the Oakleigh Plate on February 25.

“They are a week apart so we don’t have to stress at the moment,” Dale said.

“He’s on target from a timeline point of view.

“He was effective up the straight at his first and only crack at it in the Darley Classic which gives me the confidence to leave the Lightning as an option.

“But certainly he’s obviously been effective at Caulfield over 1100 metres as well, first-up two preparations ago when he almost won the Oakleigh Plate.

“They are both good options to have and we’ll finalise that as we get a bit closer.”

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