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BTC Cup to determine Fell Swoop’s Winter Program

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Trainer Matthew Dale will weigh up his Brisbane Winter Carnival options for Fell Swoop after he runs in the Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.

Fell Swoop has to overcome a wide barrier in the BTC Cup at Doomben. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Fell Swoop has to overcome a wide barrier in the BTC Cup at Doomben. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

The Canberra trainer said that he will wait and see how Fell Swoop performs in the first Group 1 of the Winter Carnival before committing to a start in either the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 28 or the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm a fortnight later.

“He has been up a long time and really it is a week-to-week situation. He is a young horse on the way up and we don’t want to overtax him,” Dale told AAP.

While Fell Swoop has shown that he is Group 1 class and a win at the highest level is not far off, Dale is not prepared to extend the four year old’s Winter Carnival campaign if he thinks he needs a break.

“It is obviously something we want for him (A Group1 win) but we don’t want to press on if he is over the top,” Dale said.

Fell Swoop showed that a Group 1 victory wasn’t far off with a nose second to Flamberge in the Group 1 $500,000 Clamms Seafood Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 27.

The emerging sprinter then ran fourth to Griante in the Group 1 $700,000 Banjo Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 19 before running second to the world’s best sprinter, Chautauqua, in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on April 2.

Fell Swoop made a triumphant Winter Carnival debut with a win in the Group 2 $200,000 National Fire Industry Association QLD Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on April 30 and winning jockey Jay Ford has the job again but first has to overcome a wide barrier in the fourteen horse BTC Cup field.

Ford will be looking to find some cover in the early and middle stages from barrier ten and Dale admits that the wide gate is a slight setback.

“Barrier ten is no help and it would have been nice to draw a bit closer. But he has tactical speed and you can’t do much about it,” Dale said.

Dale has reported that Fell Swoop has done well since his Victory Stakes win but still has some minor concerns about his pre-race antics and will seek special permission for the gelding to be let straight out onto the track as soon as Ford is legged up.

“He got edgy while parading at his first start and he still does it,” Dale said.

“He wasn’t bad for him at Doomben before the Victory Stakes but we will still ask for the jockey to get on and then head out to the barriers.”

In latest BTC Cup betting moves, Fell Swoop has been joined at the top of the market order at Ladbrokes.com.au by the Chris Waller trained Japonisme with both sprinters now sharing favouritism at $4.20.

The Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Malaguerra is next in the betting at $6 ahead of Victory Stakes third placegetter Artlee at $8.50 and Japonisme’s stablemate Counterattack at $9.

BTC Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 Fell Swoop, Japonisme, $6 Malaguerra, $8.50 Artlee, $9 Counterattack, $13 Dothraki, $14 Delectation, $15 Target In Sight, $16 Charlie Boy, $31 Scared Star, Two Blue, $41 Echo Gal, $51 Stratum Star, $101 Liberation.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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