Fell Swoop and Into The Red delivered Not A Single Doubt’s second same-day, same-track stakes double this season with strong wins at Doomben on Saturday.
Few horses this season have deserved a Group success more than Fell Swoop who went into Saturday’s $200,000 BRC Victory S. 1200m G2 as a clear favourite after three tremendous Group 1 performances in the Oakleigh Plate, the Galaxy and Chautauqua’s T.J. Smith Stakes
Things didn’t go exactly to plan at Doomben, but Fell Swoop unwound in characteristically determined fashion to overhaul Didntcostalot with Artlee third.
A Group 2 win, and two Listed wins in Melbourne last September are the highights of his nine-win, 14-start, $1million-plus career, but success at the highest level is obviously within his capabilities. He is the horse to watch in next month’s Group 1 features, the BTC Cup on 14 May and the Doomben 10,000 a fortnight later.
Fell Swoop was bred by Lee Curtis and partners Mark Richards, Graham Singh & Paul Armstrong (who remain in his ownership), and sold to his trainer Matthew Dale for $45,000 at the 2013 Inglis Classic Sale. The gelding’s dam is Touched In Flight (by Fasliyev), a descendant of the wonderful New Zealand broodmare Simper, through her daughter Luminare.
Luminare won several races in Victoria in the 1930s for enterprising New Zealand owner-breeder Bill Hazlett, who regularly took teams of horses from his Southland base to compete in Australia. Luminare remained on this side of the Tasman and is also the ancestress of Group winners Radiant Blue, Crimson Cloud, Hula Wonder, Lemarque & Crimson Flight.
Into The Red’s third stakes win, in the $100,000 BRC Bribie H. 1050m LR, comes almost a year after his second black type success, in last May’s Ascot Handicap but there’s a good reason for the gap. The 5YO gelding was injured in a track gallop and has returned to racing after a seven-month paddock break and plenty of water-walking, with only a jumpout to tune him up.
Bred by Todd McKeon & partners, Into The Red was a $100,000 purchase by John Foote from Goodwood Farm’s draft at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. He’s the best of the eight winners left by the unraced mare Red Sequin, a half-sister to the dam and grand-dam of a couple of top-liners, Champion New Zealand 2YO Maroofity and Champion Hong Kong Miler Beauty Flash.
Into The Red has now earned more than three times his purchase price with four wins and five placings for his trainer Kelso Wood and owners, Queensland property developer David Devine & his wife Diane, Mick Power, Neville Morgan & AFL legend Leigh Matthews. The same group raced another Kelso Wood star, Snitzel’s Group 1-winning son Sizzling.
Not A Single Doubt’s first same-day, same-track double came up at Ascot in Western Australia on 21 November, when Good Project won the Railway S. G1 and Let It Slip took out the Placid Ark S. LR. He had previously achieved a stakes treble, on 2 March 2013 when Petty Cury, My Ex Mate & Isabella Snowflake won at Ellerslie, Morphettville & Flemington.
It can be said with some confidence that Not A Single Doubt’s $10.4 million prizemoney, earned principally by his 11 winners of 19 Group & Listed Races, has secured his second position on the 2015/16 Australian General Sires’ Premiership. The possibility that he may challenge the deceased Street Cry, in top spot with $12 million, will add plenty of interest to the final two months of the season.