Horses To Follow » Side Glance

Side Glance

Put up here before, after he ran an eye-catching race in a Newmarket handicap last May, Side Glance is worth another mention after running out a really impressive winner of the Listed Paradise Stakes at Ascot last Wednesday, beating useful types in St Moritz and Eton Forever. Settled just behind the leaders in a field of eight, he made progress approaching the three-furlong marker but was carried wide as King Of Dixie drifted right. That made little difference though, he soon drew alongside St Moritz and Eton Forever, and strode clear in the last furlong to win by a wide margin.

The second horse, St Moritz, had won his first two races of the season, the second one a Listed contest, and came here in the form of his life, but he had no answer to the winner’s finishing kick. Six lengths was the winning margin. Critical Moment, a Listed winner at three, was two lengths further back, while Eton Forever who had spread-eagled his field in the Spring Mile at Doncaster on his previous run, was comprehensively brushed aside.

This was a career-best performance from Andrew Balding’s gelding after what has to go down as a slightly disappointing seasonal debut at Leicester 11 days previously. He may have improved for stepping back up to a mile, he has winning form to his name over the trip last year, and he is worth a shot at Group level now. He clearly loves Ascot, all his best performances have come here, he has now won two of his four starts at the Berkshire track and been placed in the other two, including when second to Redford in the 28-runner Challenge Cup as a three-year-old. He seems an improved horse this year, his sire Passing Glance improved a lot from three to four, and, with his affinity for Ascot, he will now be of interest if he shows up at the Royal meeting. The turn of foot he showed here will always stand him in good stead.

27th April 2011