Matthew Dale is keen to test Fell Swoop over the straight course at Flemington, with the Darley Classic his next Group One target.
The Canberra sprinter recorded his third Group One second-placing in Friday night’s Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley won by Rebel Dane.
His trainer says Fell Swoop has come through the race in good order and as long as he continues to please Dale he plans to bring him back to Melbourne on November 5 for the 1200m-straight track sprint.
“The Darley will be his third and last run for the preparation,” Dale said.
Dale said he had been mindful to give Fell Swoop a three-run spring after a big campaign last preparation.
“Everyone that rides him thinks he’ll be suited up the straight and I’ve always thought the same thing,” Dale said.
“Obviously there’s a lot of good races in the autumn as well and depending on how he goes in the Darley will dictate how we prepare him next prep leading into the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick.
“Whether he goes to the Lightning and Newmarket up the straight and then to the TJ, or whether he goes to the Oakleigh Plate and Galaxy will be determined by how he handles the straight.”
The Darley has opened up in recent days with Chautauqua off to the spelling paddock after failing for the second time this campaign in the Manikato while veteran Buffering has been retired.
Although the trainer is still looking for his Group One win, he was proud of Fell Swoop again on Friday night.
“He was very brave and very honest,” he said.
“He’s now run second in three big Group Ones. I get asked the question, ‘is it frustrating’, but it’s not a bad problem to have.
“He’s racing really well.”