Change of scene to spark Fell SwoopSunday 18 February 2018
A permanent move to Moruya on the NSW south coast is designed to inspire Fell Swoop to the heights the gelding experienced before The Everest.
Canberra trainer Matt Dale first relocated the six-year-old to his rural base a fortnight before the world's richest race on turf in October to stimulate Fell Swoop.
Buoyed by his third in the TJ Smith Stakes behind Chautauqua and English, Dale visualised Fell Swoop as a genuine contender for the inaugural $10 Everest six months later.
But Fell Swoop struggled in his two lead-up races, The Shorts and the Premiere Stakes.
Fell Swoop, who occupied the Inglis slot, tailed the Everest field, 11 lengths behind the winner Redzel.
Dale said thumps - irregular diaphragm spasms - affected his performance and he was now back to full fitness.
Fell Swoop won a barrier trial at Goulburn last Monday ahead of his scheduled comeback in the Listed Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on March 3.
Dale said ideally Fell Swoop would run second-up in the Group One William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 23.
"Everything's been quite positive. We switched him to my Moruya stable and he's trained off the beach now to change it up for him," Dale said.
"He went down to Moruya before the Everest to stimulate him to find a a length or two. This time he's gone down there to actually be trained from the get-go.
"Mentally and physically it's really good for them."
Dale's horses have access to a grass track plus bush trails, a beach and river at Moruya.
"It's totally different to what he's accustomed to in Canberra and at this stage he's coming up nicely," he said.