Sidestep has been backed into 2014 Winterbottom Stakes odds of $6 and has been a clear market mover to take out the Group 1 event at Ascot on Saturday.
Sidestep opened at a quote of $7 when the Winterbottom Stakes field was released on Monday afternoon, but the Exceed And Excel has been the only leading contender to receive significant support in betting markets in the past 24 hours.
The surge of betting support for Sidestep came after the Group 1 placegetter was allocated barrier two at the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes barrier draw that was held at Crown Casino on Tuesday night, but trainer John O’Shea is not convinced that the inside gate is a positive for the four-year-old.
Sidestep will be wearing blinkers for the first time in the Winterbottom Stakes on Saturday and O’Shea told TVN this morning that he is worried that the gear change will lead to the talented sprinter missing the start in the $750,000 event.
“I’ll tell you after the race if it’s an ideal gate or not,” O’Shea said.
“He’s blinkers first time and sometimes they can dwell and miss the start and if he does that he could be in awful trouble from the gate.
“If he begins well then it should be a really good barrier.
“I’ll leave that up to Nash to negotiate.”
The Godolphin operation are chasing their first win in the Winterbottom Stakes after finishing second with Rarefied in 2011 and missing the placings with Pinwheel in 2012.
The only other horse in the Winterbottom Stakes field that has received substantial support in betting for the Group 1 event in the past 24 hours and he is into a quote of $26 to go two better than he did last year when third behind Buffering and Moment Of Change.
Watermans Bay was sent to Melbourne for a 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign under the care of Mark Kavanagh and he finished seventh in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on September 28, a close sixth in the Listed Italktravel Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on October 15 and sixth in the Listed MSS Security Sprint (1200m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
Angelic Light has remained steady at her opening quote of $3 and remains an outright favourite from Moment Of Change ($4.40), Sidestep ($6), Magnifisio ($7.50) and Bel Sprinter ($11).