Sport

Racing: First-up options for Fell Swoop in Oakleigh Plate

A first-up tilt at the group 1 Oakleigh Plate is on the table for exciting sprinter Fell Swoop.

Canberra trainer Matthew Dale has always had The Galaxy in Sydney as a group 1 goal but has not yet decided on a lead-up race.

No dip in form: Trainer Matthew Dale with Fell Swoop at Thoroughbred Park.
No dip in form: Trainer Matthew Dale with Fell Swoop at Thoroughbred Park. Photo: Melissa Adams

Dale is happy with how Fell Swoop is building up for his return from a spell and will finalise his program in the next couple of weeks.

"He'll have a jump-out in a couple of weeks and from there we'll home in on his first-up target, but his second-up target will most likely be The Galaxy," Dale said.

"There's a few options for where we start.

"The Oakleigh Plate is just such a pressure race, so I'd want to think that we're going very well and quite forward first-up to target it."

The Oakleigh Plate (1100m) is on February 27 at Caulfield where Fell Swoop won the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes in September.

"It's three weeks prior to The Galaxy so it maps quite well on that front," Dale said.

Dale said other options included a listed race over 1000m at Flemington on March 5.

"That would be a more conservative option to springboard him into a crack at a group 1 in The Galaxy," he said.

Fell Swoop has won eight of his 10 starts and put four successive wins together last campaign, including listed victories at Moonee Valley and Caulfield in September.

"I'm very happy with how he's come back," Dale said.

"He looks well. His work is good and mentally he seems to have matured somewhat so they're the signs that I was looking for to get that next bit of improvement.

"But ultimately you don't find out until you go to the racetrack."

AAP