Relaxed walks through the bush at Moruya on the NSW south coast are hopefully reinvigorating Fell Swoop ahead of his multi-million dollar assignment at Randwick.
There is serious work to be done as well at Matthew Dale’s second training base, but a change of scene after a harsh Canberra winter is also intended to have Fell Swoop run better his $51 suggests in the world’s richest race on turf.
Market 💰: View the current Everest odds
Fell Swoop and Tulip are the long shots for the $10 million Everest on Saturday, but slot holder William Inglis & Son is hoping the six-year-old can spring a surprise.
Dale moved Fell Swoop to his new facility near the Moruya River the day after he ran eighth in the Group Two Premiere Stakes, his final Everest lead-up at Randwick on September 30.
The rationale was to switch up Fell Swoop’s routine with work on the course proper at Moruya and bush walks, beach runs and an afternoon wade in the river.
“He’s been on the beach for the last two weeks enjoying the life down in Moruya and I’m told he’s picked up a lot,” Inglis managing director Mark Webster said.
Dale has also incorporated a gear change and Fell Swoop will wear winkers for the first time in his 25-race career in a bid to sharpen him up.
Fell Swoop adapted smoothly to the winkers on Saturday and again on Tuesday, his final major hit-out before heading to Sydney.
“The change of the scene, the winkers and Matt’s full-time dedication will hopefully make a difference,” Webster said.
Although Fell Swoop did not run a place in The Shorts or Premiere Stakes, Webster is prepared to disregard those performances.
“Fell Swoop has been in the race since April. He hasn’t had to peak for the lead-up races. Chautuaqua and English are the same,” he said.
He preferred to use Fell Swoop’s record in the TJ Smith Stakes as a barometer to his prospects after he finished third and second to Chautauqua in the past two editions.
“We all know he can run top-three,” Webster said.
And if Fell Swoop could not meet that goal, Webster said the auction company’s selection of a $45,000 yearling that has earned $1.6 million was still justified.
“We got into this because wanted to support the concept,” he said. “All sorts of people are talking about racing that may not normally talk about it.
“All of Canberra are behind this horse.”