The Godolphin owned Sidestep is one of five interstate runners competing in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot this Saturday.
The four-year-old horse, who is due to jump from barrier two with Nash Rawiller in the saddle, is the market mover of the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au after his price shortened from $7 down to $6.
Punters were obviously impressed by his strong piece of trackwork at the Breakfast With The Stars on Tuesday morning before the live barrier draw.
Sidestep, who won the Group 2 Sovereign Stakes (1200m) back in April, had just one spring preparation in the form of the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 8. The horse tried hard without much room to make any impact, finishing four lengths off winning Terravista in eighth place.
Darley racing manager Jason Walsh told Perth Racing that the horse had pulled up well after the Flemington race and he was happy with the good hit-out on Tuesday morning.
“It was a really strong piece of work, he worked over 1000 metres and he had a good blow afterwards so he needed it,” Walsh said.
“Obviously the eleven hour trip is a bit to contend with, but he has handled that particularly well.
“Unfortunately he didn’t get a chance to get let off the bridle (in the Darley Classic), but he’s in great order.”
Sidestep is usually trained by John O’Shea but is in the care of Ascot trainer Simon Miller while he’s in Perth. Miller described the last 200 metres of the horse’s trackwork as “really good”.
Miller has no runners of his own in the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes so is also looking after the race favourite Angelic Light ($3) for Robbie Griffiths. The mare was only on light duties during her trackwork on Tuesday, with no intention of doing anything but cruising around the track.
“She was just asked to cruise around and that is all she did, but Pete came in and said if he gave her a little squeak she would have just launched,” Miller said.
“He said ‘the feeling he got you can understand why she’s beaten Lankan Rupee’.”
Angelic Light will start from the ideal barrier four in Saturday’s race, which has brought home four winners since 1983.
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