Trainer Matt Dale confirmed the 2016 BTC Cup (1200m) will figure as the next point of call for Fell Swoop after the classy sprinter completed an impressive performance for success in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Fell Swoop has been a strong and consistent performer for Dale in posting nine wins and three minors through only fourteen competitive starts so far, but has undoubtedly returned to racing in career-best form this time.
Leaving as a double-figure odds chance in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) first-up, the Not A Single Doubt gelding mustered an exceptional late turn of foot to finish second to Flamberge in a photo.
Progressing to fourth in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) on March 19th, Fell Swoop produced arguably a career-best effort to date to finish second to Chautauqua in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on Day 1 of The Championships, in what was his only other start prior to his Victory Stakes triumph on Saturday.
Dale conceded that the horse did not commandingly defeat the small field at Doomben on Saturday, but should be far better in the BTC Cup for what was his first look at the Brisbane way of going.
“I thought he did very well and dug deep to beat a horse who can run very fast times around this track,” Dale told The Courier Mail.
“We knew Didntcostalot would be hard to run down. He flies around here. We also knew there’s been a bit of a fast last towards the inside and it was likely we were going to have to come around him into the lesser part of the track.
“It was his first time to Doomben and the experience will have done him the world of good.”
Young hoop Jay Ford took the ride on Fell Swoop on the Victory Stakes and also believes the horse will be hard to beat when he lines up for the 2016 BTC Cup.
“What you have to remember with this horse is that he’s only had fourteen starts and is still learning his trade,” Ford said.
“I know the margin wasn’t there and you would describe it more as tradesman-like, but there was still a lot of merit in the win.
“He’s a horse that likes to build momentum and he wasn’t able to do that around here today. I had to ask him to go before the turn and it took a while for him to balance up.
“But what he had going for him is that he’s a winner and he will be better again for that.”
Fell Swoop remains a $3 favourite in early 2016 BTC Cup betting markets.
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