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Talented colt Sidestep has snapped a year-long absence from the winners’ circle and could have earned himself a shot the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes.

The three-year-old had not won since the Pago Pago Stakes at the corresponding Rosehill meeting last year but trainer Peter Snowden is hoping the victory in Saturday’s Listed Darby Munro Stakes (1200m) is the confidence-booster the colt needed.

“It was a race he needed to win,” Snowden said.

Sidestep - Photo by Steve Hart

Sidestep - Photo by Steve Hart

“He’s a talented horse.”

Snowden will consider winkers or blinkers for the colt’s next start, which will be in either the Group One TJ Smith Stakes against older horses or the Royal Sovereign Stakes against his own age.

Sidestep finished second in the Golden Slipper last year but had a fruitless spring where interference in his early campaign starts cruelled his chances.

Snowden said Sidestep had started thinking about other horses around him and hadn’t been concentrating on the task at hand which is why he thinks winkers or blinkers would help.

“At home he works as good as any horse in the stable, so you know he’s got the ability,” Snowden said.

Snowden said the TJ Smith Stakes, where he would likely get a genuine speed, could suit the colt.

“But if we choose not to go there, the Royal Sovereign is the race we’ll go to,” he said.

Sidestep ($4) settled back in the field with 59kg and finished down the outside to beat Bound For Earth ($13) by a half head with three-quarters of a length to Northern Glory ($9) third.

 
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