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English trainer Andrew Balding is keeping his options open about Side Glance defending his Mackinnon Stakes crown after the well-travelled gelding’s fourth in the Cox Plate.

Side Glance won the Group One Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington a week after finishing sixth in the Cox Plate last year.

“We’re going to nominate for the Mackinnon but he’ll have to be bouncing this week for us to run. He’ll have to be really well,” Balding said.

“More likely he’ll go to the Sandown Classic (Zipping Classic).

“I think he’s had a hard enough race today, but we’ll see. He backed up pretty well last year but we’ll just have to see how much weight he loses and how he is.”

The Hong Kong Vase in December is on the radar for Side Glance with Balding keen to step him up in trip to 2400m.

And Balding is keen for the eight-year-old to return to Melbourne next year, but the Cox Plate is unlikely to be on the agenda.

“We’ll be back down here next year looking at going quite a bit further,” he said.

The Melbourne Cup is a possibility.

“But certainly the Caulfield Cup,” he said.

Side Glance, running in his 16th consecutive Group One around the world, settled just behind the lead in Saturday’s fast-run 2040-metre race and battled on to be beaten a half length, with Irish horse Adelaide the winning for trainer Aidan O’Brien.

“They went very fast and under the circumstances he’s finished off as well as he could,” Balding said.

 
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