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Fell Swoop makes return to winners’ circle

Matt Dale.
Matt Dale has trained Fell Swoop to a drought-breaking victory in the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap.

Almost three years after his last win, Fell Swoop has shown he still has a turn of foot to be reckoned with, leading most of the way to win the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap at Randwick.

The Matt Dale-trained seven-year-old has earned $1.8 million in a career that has featured stakes wins, niggling injuries and some heartbreaking near misses at the highest level.

”It’s hard to put into words,” Dale said. “This horse has been the best horse I’ve ever had and he’s been a long time between drinks.

“He’s had a lot of little issues without anything being major but he just hasn’t been right.

“But I said to the crew that this preparation he is right. I was rapt with his run first-up. I thought he should have won.”

”I said to Hughie (Bowman) not to hand up the lead, to just free-flow and he rode him perfectly.

“He allowed him to get there easily early and after five weeks off and missing some work he was still strong at the line.

“It is a very proud moment for me and all my staff, my family, they know what it means.”

Fell Swoop ($9) took the early lead from favourite Cradle Mountain ($1,90) and extended in the straight to put two lengths on him with Firsthand ($10) another long head third.

The win was Fell Swoop’s fifth over 1200m while his Group One placings at the distance include a second and a third in the 2016 and 2017 TJ Smith Stakes, both won by Chautauqua, second in the 2016 Manikato Stakes to Rebel Dane followed by a third in the Darley Classic won by Malaguerra.

His most recent win before Saturday was in the Group Two Victory Stakes at Doomben in April 2016.

Dale said the Standish Handicap at Flemington on New Year’s Day was the next aim for Fell Swoop.

The Canberra trainer began the day in winning fashion with Sei Stella who claimed her second Highway Handicap, leading all the way to beat Anchois.

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