Canberra sprinter Fell Swoop warmed up to collect his first Group 1 trophy with a solid win in the Group 2 $200,000 National Fire Industry Association QLD Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben last Saturday.
Fell Swoop was sent out as the $1.55 favourite and while it took him the length of the straight to reel in leader Didntcostalot ($8), the Mat Dale trained sprinter got the job done and will now head back to Doomben in a fortnight as one of the main chance in the Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m).
“I thought he did very well and dug deep to beat a horse who can run very fast time around this track,” Dale said.
“We knew Didntcostalot would be hard to run down. He flies around here. We also knew there’s been a bit of a fast lane 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.”
Fell Swoop emerged as a force in the upcoming Brisbane Winter Carnival Group 1 sprints after recording two seconds and a fourth in Group 1 company during the recent Sydney and Melbourne Autumn Carnivals.
The Not A Single Doubt four year old was beaten a nose first up by Flamberge in the Group 1 $500,000 Clamms Seafood Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 27 before finishing fourth to Griante in the Group 1 $700,000 Banjo Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 19.
Fell Swoop then ran a mighty race when second to the world’s number one rated 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.
Winning Victory Stakes jockey Jay Ford was very impressed with the winning effort of Fell Swoop, even though the margin was less than half a length, and expects the four year old to only improve with more racing.
“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 has going for him is that he’s a winner and he will be better again for that.”
Another good performance in the BTC Cup will see Fell Swoop head towards the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 28 before a possible start in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
Saturday’s Victory Stakes success was Fell Swoop’s ninth win from fourteen starts and took his prizemoney earnings past the $1 million mark.