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Balding Passes a Third Glance

Photo: Dubai Racing Club//Mathea Kelley

Andrew Balding has taken every precaution possible to ensure Side Glance (GB) will act on the new dirt surface at Meydan when he bids to make it third time lucky in the $10million Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates.

An away gallop on the deep Fibresand surface at Southwell and a fancy combination of new headgear will ensure the eight-year-old has the best chance of showing his world-class form when he tries his luck on dirt for the first time.

Side Glance has been Englishman Balding’s ticket to travel over the last couple of years with the son of Passing Glance amassing almost $2.5million in prize money with starts in the UK, Dubai, Singapore, America and Hong Kong.

“He has earned prize money in dirhams, pounds, dollars and all sorts of currencies,’” said Balding. “I’m really looking forward to Saturday and I am hoping he takes to the surface and performs to his best as we know the configuration on the track suits him well.

“The dirt is the unknown factor but I am hoping he will be ok on it. He went away to gallop at Southwell and will wear an eyeshield with half-cut blinkers in the race.

They were something that trainers David Simcock and Dhruba Selvaratnam suggested we tried to help him and he has been working away fine in the headgear.”

Side Glance was last seen beaten less then half a length by Adelaide in the Cox Plate and has twice finished fourth in the Dubai World Cup when beaten by African Story and Animal Kingdom over the last two years.

“He is holding his form really well and you could argue that his Cox Plate run was a career best,” said Balding.

“He has a new rider in Andrea Atzeni, who is the new jockey to his owners, but he is world-class and there are no worries there.
“The horse means so much to us as he is by Phoenix Reach, who I trained, and his dam was nothing much but has turned out to be a pretty special broodmare and to have a homebred who has done what he has done has been exceptional.”

Side Glance will not be Balding’s only runner on the night with Havana Beat (IRE) going in the Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors.

“He ran fourth there in his prep race and he will have come on for that,” added the trainer. “We have thought a lot of him since his maiden win and hopefully he can step up again.”