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NSW Jockey Premiership leading hoop Brenton Avdulla will shoot for his first The Galaxy win this weekend at Rosehill Racecourse aboard the super-consistent Canberra sprinter Fell Swoop.
It is a start-studded edition of the $700,000 Group 1 Banjo Galaxy Handicap (1100m) on Golden Slipper Day this Saturday with a full field of runners in the mix for Rosehill Race 8 at 5:10pm (AEDT).
Current The Galaxy betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au feature just three single figure fancies led by Gai Waterhouse’s last start Challenge Stakes winning filly English ($4.40) who was runner-up to stablemate Vancouver in the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on this day 12 months ago.
Avdulla, who has 91 wins for the season so far, meanwhile partners the $6 co-second favourite along with Joe Pride’s champion Terravista, Fell Swoop.
The Matthew Dale-trained Not A Single Doubt four-year-old has won eight of his 11 career starts to date and has finished worse than second just once before.
He is also undefeated with a two-from-two record at the Rosehill track he returns to for The Galaxy test this weekend second-up.
A winner of both his previous second-up runs, Fell Swoop resumed at Caulfield on February 27 and was luckless caught up at a vital time in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m).
He went down just a short half-head to the Peter Moody-trained Flamberge who carries the 58kg top weight from the outside alley in The Galaxy on Saturday, paying $17 to overcome that and score back-to-back Group 1s.
From a better barrier eight, into six with the emergencies out, Fell Swoop looks a massive chance to turn the tables on Flamberge.
“Fell Swoop is and up and coming sprinter and he’s a winner,” Avdulla told Racenet this week.
“He was stiff not to win the Group I in Melbourne first-up and whilst this does look a particularly strong field I am very happy with my mount.”
The last The Galaxy winner from gate eight was Temple Of Boom (2012) while barrier six last produced a winner in Magnus in 2007.
Avdulla has had four previous rides in the handicap sprint without a top three finish, something he is confident of atoning this weekend with Fell Swoop getting in on just 52.5kg.
Glyn Schofield had the ride on Fell Swoop in the Oakleigh Plate, Avdulla riding the horse under race conditions for the first time on the weekend after being aboard for his third to Tiger Tees in an 800m Goulburn trial in late January.
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