The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
After two earlier placings in the autumn’s biggest sprint race, trainer Matthew Dale is hoping it is third time lucky for his smart galloper Fell Swoop in the 2018 TJ Smith Stakes this April.
A winner of close to $1.8 million in career prize money to date, Not A Single Doubt six-year-old Fell Swoop frustratingly remains a Group 1 maiden.
His elite level place record however is outstanding with five top three finishes from his 11 previous Group 1 assignments.
Two of those have come in successive editions of the Group 1 $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m), run this year at Royal Randwick on April 7 during Day 1 of ‘The Championships’.
In 2016 Fell Swoop was second to Chautauqua in the weight-for-age classic and Dale’s stable ace had to settle for third last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival as the ‘Grey Flash’ made history with a third TJ Smith Stakes win on the trot.
Those all-in TJ Smith Stakes odds are dominated by the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Redzel ($5) who won The Everest at the track and distance last October before saluting down the Flemington straight in the Darley Classic.
Chautauqua is also right up the early markets at $9 to make it a historic four TJ Smith Stakes victories in as many years.
Dale recently welcomed Fell Swoop back to work at his Moruya stable and has him down to trial in around three weeks’ time on February 12 at Goulburn.
Fell Swoop had an ordinary spring campaign unplaced in all three starts including his dead last when 12th to Redzel in the inaugural edition of the $10 million The Everest (1200m) for Inglis.
“It took a couple of weeks for him to get over it then he thrived in the paddock for the next month,’’ Dale told Racing NSW, speaking of his horse’s horror run in The Everest.
“The signs are positive, ultimately until we get him back to the trials and the races it will tell the tale but it was a natural thing to clear the slate.
“He’s being trained off the beach this preparation and I’m happy with how he’s going at this stage.”
The TJ Smith Stakes is slated third-up for Fell Swoop following two lead-up runs in Melbourne, which will include a second-up tilt at Moonee Valley on March 23 under the lights in the Group 1 $500,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m).
“The [William Reid] sits two weeks before the TJ so the timeline is right, I just want to see him come back after a disappointing prep,” Dale explained.
To back Fell Swoop this autumn at the right price and to access the top early TJ Smith Stakes 2018 odds visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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