In one Fell Swoop, spring calls

Aug 02, 2015

Source Ray Hickson: IN one fell swoop untapped Canberra four-year-old Fell Swoop announced himself as a sleeper carnival sprinter with a stunning win at Rosehill on Saturday.

It wasn’t pretty — punters would have had their hearts in their mouths as the gelding tracked four and five wide throughout — but the gelding stamped himself as a promising prospect. Trainer Matthew Dale has long thought Fell Swoop could be his best horse to date but he’s prepared to wait a few more weeks before throwing him in at the deep end.

“He’s a very raw product, we’ve been patient with him and that patience is paying off as you can see,’’ Dale said. “The improvement he has made at home in the last three weeks has been unbelievable and I saw it today at the races when he saddled up.’’

Fell Swoop ($3.20 favourite) repaid punters for his luckless first-up defeat at Randwick last month with a three-length win in the Selleys Handicap (1100m) over Inz’N’Out ($6.50) and Bold Circle ($31).

Dale said he was “cursing’’ after watching Fell Swoop’s first-up run on TV — he wasn’t trackside that day as he was attending the birth of his third child — but said that defeat probably set up Saturday’s win. ‘’In hindsight, it was probably a blessing because on a heavy 9 he didn’t have a hard run first-up,’’ Dale said. ‘’He came back great but didn’t have a gut buster.

“This win shows he is a quality horse going forward. He was three and four wide out there without cover the whole trip and he just idled up outside them and raced away.’’

Dale warned there is still further improvement in Fell Swoop, who took his record to five wins from seven starts, but will wait one more run before raising the bar.

That run will likely be in two weeks at Rosehill or three weeks at Randwick.

“There’s no point in jumping too far too soon, he’s still working it out,’’ he said.

“The Sydney and Melbourne carnivals present after his next run and we’ll work it out then.

“While it wasn’t the strongest field it the world I think the way he did it, and the improvement he has, he is heading in the right direction.’’

Blake Shinn, who brought up a double on Fell Swoop having scored on Kimberley Star earlier, said he felt the result was never in doubt despite covering extra ground.

Like Dale, Shinn believes there’s heaps of improvement to come.

“Although we were wide we were always in control,’’ he said.

“He did it tough and wide but I loved the way he zoomed into the race and was very strong to the line. It sets him up nicely for the races ahead.’’