Jockey Jay Ford will be able to give Fell Swoop the run of the race after the Canberra sprinter drew barrier two in the Group 2 $200,000 National Fire Industry Association QLD Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
A final field of nine runners are set to line up in the weight for age sprint that announces the beginning of 2016 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Jay Ford will be having his first ride on the Matt Dale trained Fell Swoop who has been racing in outstanding form during the Autumn Carnivals in Sydney and Melbourne.
Damien Oliver was originally book to take over from Zac Purton who was aboard when Fell Swoop when he ran a gallant second to Chautauqua in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 2, but the champion Melbourne hoop has been sidelined after receiving a careless riding suspension from Monday’s Flemington meeting.
Dale has set up base at trainer Matt Dunn’s Murwillumbah complex and said that he and Fell Swoop were covering new territory with their venture north being the first time the four year old had to settle into new surroundings.
The trip to Sydney from his Canberra base is only a day trip as was his excursion to Melbourne when he ran second to Flamberge in the Group 1 $500,000 Clamms Seafood Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 27.
“When he’s gone to Melbourne it’s been down and back, so with him staying up there, we kind of wanted to replicate the environment he has here in Canberra,” Dale said.
“There’s not as much hustle and bustle at Murwillumbah as there is in the city.
“This will be pretty new to me too. I’ve gone to Melbourne a lot and obviously we’re in Sydney most weeks, but to travel and stay will be different. It’s the first time I’ve had the right horse to do it.”
The Tony Gollan trained Didntcostalot has drawn the inside gate with Tegan Harrison to ride while stablemate Fontelina has drawn need the outside at barrier seven with Jim Byrne in the saddle.
Robbie Fradd has been booked to ride Knoydart who has drawn nicely at three and will be one of the main chances if he can repeat his last start second to Music Magnate in the Group 3 $150,000 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 16.
Late entries Artlee, Rock Royalty and Pinch River have all drawn in the outside section of the small field.
Artlee with Michael Cahill to ride has come up with the outside gate, the Robert Heathcote trained Pinch River (Glen Colless) is one to his inside at eight while Rock Royalty with Jeff Lloyd to ride has drawn gate six.
Tony Sears’ Weetwood Handicap winner Choice Bro has drawn midfield at barrier four with James Orman retaining the mount in the Victory Stakes.