Trainer Matthew Dale has revealed that the 2016 Oakleigh Plate could the first-up target for progressive sprinter Fell Swoop.
Fell Swoop started his racing career with four wins from five starts, but he had no luck in running whatsoever when he started his spring campaign with a fourth place finish in the Bledisloe Cup Festival Handicap (1000m) at Royal Randwick on July 11.
The Not A Single Doubt gelding returned to winning form with an explosive victory in the Selleys Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 1 and he earnt an opportunity at black-type level when he took out the TAB Rewards Handicap (1000m) at Royal Randwick on August 22.
Fell Swoop overcame the pattern of the day to take out the Listed The Cup Club Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 5 and he was challenged throughout in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on September 19, but he was still able to produce the extra effort required to record his eighth race win from his past nine starts.
The Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 19 is set to be the major 2016 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival target for Fell Swoop, but Dale said he would decide whether to give the four-year-old an opportunity in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 27 after he contests a jump out in just over a fortnight.
“He is doing really well,” Dale told Racing Ahead.
“He is coming along nicely and we will have a jump-out in two weeks tomorrow.
“The Oakleigh Plate is still there in my mind.
“I am very mindful that I want to be at The Galaxy second-up in Sydney.
“I think that is a really suitable target for him and he does appear more comfortable the Sydney way of going.
“We are continuing to do more work with him the Melbourne way of going through his preparation at the moment, but I won’t make a final call on the Oakleigh Plate until at least after his first jump-out.”
Dale has not had a runner in a Group 1 since Unanimously finished fifth behind Mrs Onassis, Facile Tigre, Spirit Of Boom and Undeniably in the 2013 edition of the Oakleigh Plate.
Fell Swoop has recorded eight wins from his ten race starts and he has already accumulated over $300,000 in prizemoney for connections.