English raider Side Glance had his final hit out at Werribee this morning as he prepares for the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley tomorrow.
Side Glance was let canter from the 1200m before galloping the last 600m in what Anna Lisa Balding said was just a ‘good leg stretch” a day out from the 2013 Cox Plate
Anna Lisa Balding, who is deputising for husband Andrew while in Australia, said that was what the seven year old needed leading up to his first Australian start at Moonee Valley.
“With a fresh horse and Moonee Valley such a tight track we don’t want him to bolt at the start,” Balding told Racing Network.
“That would be normal for him back home.”
Work rider Leanne Masterton also said that Side Glance needed the hit out to give his legs a good stretch before Saturday.
“Not sure if I could go another week, he might pull my arms off,” Masterton said.
The widely travelled gelding has raced in three different countries over the past twelve months and has performed creditably without picking up a winning cheque.
Kingsclere trainer Andrew Balding took Side Glance to Dubai in March for two Group 1 fourths in the US$300,000 Jebel Hatta Sponsored By Emirates Airline (1800m) and the US$10m Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (2000m).
Balding then sent Side Glance back to England where he ran seventh in the Group 1 £500,000 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (1 mile, 2 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 19 before heading off to the United States for a third in the Group 1 US$1m Arlington Million (2000m) at Arlington Park.
Side Glance, to be ridden by top Melbourne jockey Craig Williams, has come in for some support at big odds in the 2013 Cox Plate betting and has firmed from $101 to the $51 with a trickle of money.
Tough Kiwi It’s A Dundeel remains the Cox Plate favourite at $4.20 just in front of Darren Weirs’s grey Puissance De Lune at $4.60 and the Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente at $5.50.
Caulfield Guineas winner Long John has been solidly support and has firmed into $7.50 after $10 was bet earlier in the week.