Trainer Andrew Balding has revealed that he would like to see Side Glance settle towards the front of the 2014 Cox Plate field at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Side Glance took up the running when he finished a brave third in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 11 and he was taken to the front by jockey Jamie Spencer when he won the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) last year, but the Passing Glance gelding has shown plenty of tactical versatility throughout his racing career.
Balding told Sky Racing HQ that Side Glance has become dourer in the past 12 months, but he believes that could suit the Northern Hemisphere seven-year-old in the 2014 Cox Plate and allow him to take up a position just behind the leaders in the early stages of the race.
“He has gotten a little bit more dour as he has got older,” Balding said.
“He used to travel very strongly and not find as much as he does nowdays.
“He is really seeing out the distance a lot better now and that has got to have us in good stead in what is going to be a strongly run race on Saturday.
“Last year we drew the inside stall and he was a little bit free early on, but with The Cleaner in the race it looks like they are going to go an honest gallop this time.
“Certainly shouldn’t be a problem and hopefully we can find a nice position in the first four or five and get a toe into the race.
Melbourne Cup hopeful Red Cadeaux may be the only horse in world racing that has done as much travelling as Side Glance and the veteran gelding has raced in Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, Great Britain, the United States and Australia in the last year alone.
Balding got his first look at his star galloper after arriving in Australia yesterday and he is happy with the way that the gelding has taken to his new environment and is expecting a strong effort in the Cox Plate this weekend.
“He has obviously done a lot of travelling and he is really seasoned to it now,” Balding said.
“He seems to thrive on the travelling and it is nice this year having had a run prior to the Cox Plate, which we didn’t have the benefit of last year.
“He stepped up last time second-up and won the Mackinnon and I am just hoping that we can find the same improvement this year from his first to second run.
“He might just lack the fifty of a really top horse, but he gives everything and he has a really big heart.”
Side Glance is currently available at 2014 Cox Plate odds of $31 to become the first European-trained horse to win the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship.