Fell Swoop, living by his name

May 01, 2016

Fell Swoop, living by his name

The horse lives by his name, his owners have a touching story about a lost mate and partner, the trainer from Canberra has a degree and has worked with the best, and now the horse that rolls all this together – Fell Swoop – is ready to graduate to the big stage in Brisbane.

Fell Swoop, a $45,000 yearling purchase from the Inglis Classic Sale in 2013, took his earnings past $1 million with a win in the style of his name, nailing the quick Didntcostalot in the $200,000 Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben.

The race name also sits well alongside Fell Swoop – it was his ninth victory from just 14 appearances and now a Group 1 treble awaits him and young impressive trainer Matt Dale, the man with a degree in equine management with experience under Gai Waterhouse and John O’Shea.

“He’s a winner and the best is ahead of him. This trip to Queensland will make him for the spring,” he said.

Fell Swoop is now $3.60 favorite with CrownBet for the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) in a fortnight at Doomben and firmed into $6 for the Group 1 Stradbroke (1400m) on June 11 at Eagle Farm off the win.

He’ll also run in the G1 Doomben 10,000 between both races on May 28.

With a path not to dissimilar to Queanbeyan cult star Takeover Target, Fell Swoop won his maiden at Canberra at his second start then put two more together, landed at Rosehill to win at his fifth and seventh starts then to Melbourne with Moonee Valley (ninth) and Caulfield (10th start) followed.

He went into today’s victory off a career best second to Hong Kong Chairman’s Sprint favorite Chautauqua in the G1 TJ Smith Stakes (1400m) – now that level awaits Fell Swoop in Brisbane.

Every time Fell Swoop races Rebecca Barnes and the massive and enthusiastic ownership group in the horse remember a lost husband and close racing mate.

Rob Barnes was felled by a heart attack and it almost felled Rebecca who wanted to hand her share back in the horse – “too many bad memories,” she said last year.

Now led by managing owner Paul Armstrong, every win or get together around Fell Swoop is a celebration of Barnes.

"After Rob died, I didn't want him at all,” Rebecca said last year. “Paul Armstrong kept ringing me and saying you should think about this. I just said, ‘No, no, no (to keeping him)’, and then one day I just said, ‘Yes, it would have been what Rob wanted’.

"He really liked the trainer (Matt Dale), he just thought he was a good bloke. Half the blokes in him were his mates. Our girls (Jess, Sharni and Kasey) want to keep him and it has worked out really well.”