Side Glance Will Defend Title in 2014 Mackinnon Stakes

Side Glance is all set to defend his Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) crown at Flemington this Saturday, and trainer Andrew Balding couldn’t be happier with the gelding’s form.

Side Glance will aim to take away a Mackinnon Stakes double this Saturday as he defends his title.

Side Glance will aim to take away a Mackinnon Stakes double this Saturday as he defends his title. Photo by Steve Hart.

Side Glance is one of two horses set to back-up in the 2014 Mackinnon Stakes just one week after running the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), alongside Criterion.

The seven-year-old gelding was a fast-finishing fourth to Adelaide in the Cox Plate on Saturday. He was right in the firing line early after jumping well from barrier seven. He was under pressure around the bend and kept on coming late to just miss out on a placing. Overall it was a great effort for Side Glance who was a $21 shot.

Side Glance is currently available on the second line of betting in the Mackinnon Stakes odds at at $6.50 alongside Criterion and Rising Romance.

Balding has stated Side Glance emerged from the 2014 Cox Plate in better shape than last year, where he didn’t have anywhere near as tough a run.

As well as the Cox Plate, Side Glance has lead-in successes from the Group 1 Million Stakes (2011m) in America and the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) for which he finished third in both.

“I’m really pleased with him. He’s fresh and well,” Balding told TVN.

“I think Flemington will suit him better than Moonee Valley.”

Side Glance has been a consistent performer at racing’s elite level for years now. The Mackinnon Stakes will be his 17th straight start in a Group One race, dating back to October 2012. In that time, the eight-year-old has raced across the globe including Britain, Dubai, Hong Kong, America, and Australia.

While he has only won once during that time – last year’s Mackinnon Stakes – Side Glance has taken away four placings and finished just outside the top three a further four times.

Jamie Spender, who rode Side Glance to his win last year, is unavailable this year due to a Breeder’s Cup meeting at Santa Anita so Craig Williams will ride the gelding in the 2014 Mackinnon Stakes instead.

The Mackinnon Stakes is one of four Group One races running at Flemington this Saturday as part of Victoria Derby Day.

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