Fell Swoop, Single Gaze eye group level riches in Melbourne and Sydney

Canberra trainer Matthew Dale says the next month will show whether Fell Swoop can translate his dominance at listed level by matching it with the best sprinters in the country.

The four-year old will make his group 1 debut in Saturday's Oakleigh Plate (1100 metres) at Caulfield before focussing on the main target - The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 19.

Canberra horse Fell Swoop will make his group 1 debut in Melbourne on Saturday.
Canberra horse Fell Swoop will make his group 1 debut in Melbourne on Saturday.  Photo: Melissa Adams

Fell Swoop, who is returning from a spell, has won eight of his 10 career starts, including a fighting last-start win at Caulfield in mid-September.

Already boasting just over $300,000 in prizemoney, Fell Swoop can double that with a victory on Saturday and Dale rates him a strong each-way prospect.

Fell Swoop has drawn well in barrier five and is also down in the weights with 53 kilograms, which Dale believes gives him a fighting chance.

"That was the idea of starting him in a handicap group 1, to capture him at the point where he still could be right down in the weights," Dale said.


"With some luck in running I think he's got to be a likely each-way chance.

"Everything's going to have go right but with the barrier he's drawn, the weight and his profile, he does look competitive before his first crack at a group 1.

"In three weeks we'll go to The Galaxy and that will tell us whether we drop him back in grade, or press him on.

"Tomorrow [Saturday] we just want to see him be competitive, recover in good order and then we'll be off to Sydney."

Looking for a fifth win on the trot, Fell Swoop usually runs on the pace but Dale is expecting him to be able to run just off the "up-tempo" pace.

Glyn Schofield will ride Fell Swoop for the first time after Damien Oliver, who guided him to his last two wins, was unable to make the weight.

Schofield has just two rides on Saturday, the other aboard Boban in the group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m).

"Damien Oliver was booked to ride if it was 53.5 kilos and above, and we got 53," Dale said.

"Glyn's a big-race jockey and has won a couple of races for me in the past with Unanimously, so hopefully we can get a result."

Meanwhile, Nick Olive believes Single Gaze is ready to go to the next level in the group 2 Coolmore Surround Stakes (1400m) for three-year-old fillies at Randwick on Saturday.

Single Gaze finished second to Mahuta in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas at Gold Coast on January.

That form looks good on paper given star colt Mahuta has won his last six races, and Olive believes Single Gaze has improved since.

"I really feel she's gone to another level and I'm so looking forward to seeing how she competes in a really good race," Olive said.

"If she can race well we'll head toward our plans for a group 1 race.

"She's absolutely flying and probably going better than she ever has. I just hope she steps us and shows us she can do that in a race as well.

"She's drawn a bit awkwardly but hopefully she gets a bit of luck and is given every chance."