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Matt Dale ready to swoop in 10,000

Fell Swoop has returned $1.6 million on his $45,000 sale price but still needs a Group One win to round out his resume.

The sprinter has been placed five times at the highest level including twice in the TJ Smith Stakes behind Chautauqua, rated the world’s best short-course horse.

Trainer Matt Dale’s confidence in a Group One breakthrough in Saturday’s Doomben 10,000 has been dented a little by the second-widest barrier in the 15-horse field but boosted by how well Fell Swoop is heading to the race.

Fell Swoop has spent his lead-up at Matt Dunn’s Murwillumbah stables with Dale preferring to try to simulate the semi-rural environment he enjoys at home in Canberra as he prepares for his first start since the TJ Smith on April 1.

“It is away from the hustle and bustle of the big training tracks. It is like what we have at home and he appreciates that,” Dale said.

“He had a trial at Goulburn two weeks ago and beat a handy horse in Eckstein into second place. It was more of a maintenance trial than anything else.

“It was to just keep him ticking over. He is ready to run a good race on Saturday.”

Fell Swoop will be having his second attempt to win the Doomben 10,000 (1200m) after finishing sixth in the race last year when he wasn’t suited by a breakneck early pace.

Dale said the change to the distance of the 10,000 from 1350m back to 1200m was to the gelding’s advantage.

“They have switched things about this year and at this stage of his preparation the 1200 metres suits him best,” he said.

And although Fell Swoop will need luck from the barrier, there is speed inside him including Upstart Pride who starts from 12.

“The barrier is no help but it is a good ride and with luck we will be in the finish,” jockey Damian Browne said.

Fell Swoop is an $8 chance with Russian Revolution the $3.20 favourite.

The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Russian Revolution won the Group One Galaxy in which Fell Swoop was sixth. Russian Revolution then finished sixth in the TJ Smith, about four lengths from third placed Fell Swoop.

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