Horses To Follow » Side Glance

Side Glance

With the field basically ignoring the pace-setting Bullet Train in the QEII Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, the main body of runners didn’t go that fast, and that didn’t suit Side Glance at all. He pulled for his head fiercely early on, effectively losing what small chance he had. He predictably got outpaced after that when they picked up, but he stayed on really well to finish just behind the Group 1 winners Dick Turpin and Poet’s Voice in sixth place, and had gone past them soon after the line. The first three home, Frankel, Excelebration and Immortal Verse, are the best milers in Europe, and it speaks volumes for the regard in which Side Glance is held that his trainer Andrew Balding nominated this race for him after he had won the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury in August.

The son of Passing Glance really does need a fast-run mile to be seen at his best though, as he had at Salisbury when able to sit just in behind the pace-setting The Rectifier, and he just couldn’t cope with the injection of pace three furlongs out here. He dropped back to last, seemingly floundering, before he stayed on well close home.

Andrew Balding’s gelding is not one on whom to give up on the back of this run. He is a gelding, so he won’t be going off to fulfill stud duties, and we should see him for another year at least. It is a shame for him that Frankel stays in training also, but Frankel can’t run every week, and Side Glance should be able to avoid him. He runs Ascot particularly well and, granted a strongly-run mile, he can win his share of high class races next year. More immediately, it would not be surprising were Balding to have international targets on the agenda for him now, in particular the Far East and Dubai, given that the pace in the top international races tends to be strong.

15th October 2011