Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival Likely For Sidestep

By: Thomas Hackett
November 28th, 2014

Sidestep is still chasing a maiden win at the highest level of racing, but the talented entire is set to receive three chances at Group 1 level during the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.

Sidestep has been sent to the spelling paddock following his disappointing performance in the Winterbottom Stakes. Photo by: Steve Hart

Sidestep has been sent to the spelling paddock following his disappointing performance in the Winterbottom Stakes. Photo by: Steve Hart

Sidestep returned to Group 1 company when he finished a credible eighth behind Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8 and Godolphin elected to take the son of Exceed And Excel to Perth for the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), but he failed to fire and finished towards the tail of the field.

Godolphin Racing Manager Jason Walsh told Racing Ahead that Sidestep had come out of his Winterbottom Stakes run in excellent condition, but he said that the four-year-old would still head for a stint in the spelling paddock before returning for an autumn campaign.

“He pulled up in great order and he has travelled back to Melbourne,” Walsh said.

“We will give him a brief freshen-up now and there were certainly no excuses, we were reasonably disappointed with how he performed.”

Godolphin are yet to decide when Sidestep will return to racing, but Walsh revealed that the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival looms as a likely option for Sidestep after a couple of starts in autumn.

The leading racing operation are desperate to record a Group 1 win with Sidestep to increase his value as a stallion prospect and Walsh feels that the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m), Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) and Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) are all nice races for the talented four-year-old.

“We will just have a rethink,” Walsh said.

“We are mindful that we want to win a Group 1 with him and the three options that might suit best are probably in the Brisbane Winter.

“We will just have a think about where he fits in and where we kick him off.

“If he can get back to his best form like the way that he won here in Sydney during The Championships we certainly think that he is up to that level.”

Sidestep was sent to Brisbane for the Winter Racing Carnival earlier this year after he took out both the Listed Darby Munro Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens and Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) in the Sydney autumn, but he was ruled out of the BTC Cup after succumbing to a leg injury the day before the race.

The prizemoney on offer during the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival has been increased substantially and the Stradbroke Handicap is now worth $2 million.

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