Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
The Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival Group 1s are next on the agenda starting with the BTC Cup 2016 for Fell Swoop after the gun four-year-old’s win in the Victory Stakes last Saturday.
Prepared by Canberra’s Matthew Dale, the Not A Single Doubt gelding saluted as the odds-on favourite for the punters at Doomben Racecourse over the weekend in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m).
Backing up off a brave second to Chautauqua in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in Sydney on April 2, Fell Swoop relished the drop back in class for his successful Brisbane debut.
On the line in the Victory Stakes Fell Swoop ($1.55) and jockey Jay Ford had a quarter-length to spare over the Tony Gollan-trained Didntcostalot ($8) while the Todd Willan-trained Artlee ($9) finished just under a length further back for third to finish off the Victory Stakes trifecta.
Thrilled with the galloper’s efforts against a mediocre field, Dale is confident Fell Swoop will only improve targeting tougher Queensland races including the $500,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) next-up on May 14.
“I still think the best is yet to come from Fell Swoop when you see he’s not seasoned yet, but this campaign will help him with that,” Dale told The Sydney Morning Herald.
He is current second favourite in futures BTC Cup betting behind Gai Waterhouse’s star filly English who backed up from her TJ Smith Stakes third to win the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 16.
Waterhouse has prepared one previous BTC Cup winner in Bentley Biscuit (2007).
Both Fell Swoop and English are likely to clash again in the $750,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 28 before targeting Eagle Farm’s $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 11.
All-in Stradbroke Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have English at $7 and Fell Swoop at $13.
Ford replaced the suspended Damien Oliver aboard Fell Swoop in the Victory and while Dale was happy with his ride, Oliver will be back aboard the $1 million earner in the BTC Cup.
“Jay had obviously performed in Brisbane, riding Takeover Target, and we had a good association with Jay,” Dale said on Saturday.
“He’s very cool under pressure in those situations. I thought he rode him really well – I don’t think anyone could’ve ridden him any better under the circumstances.
“I was rapt with the way Jay handled him today, and he didn’t let the fact that he was a short-priced favourite ($1.55) get to him one bit.
“That’s what makes Jay so good … that he’s calm under pressure.”
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