Sidestep could be one of Peter Snowden’s last Group One runners for Darley if he races up to expectations in Saturday’s Royal Sovereign Stakes at Randwick.
The colt is in line for a start in the All Aged Stakes seven days later but first he needs to prove his worthiness against his own age this weekend.
Last year’s Golden Slipper runner-up has been a work in progress for Snowden who has experimented with blinkers and winkers at various stages of the colt’s career.
Sidestep has been headpiece-free at his past two runs for a narrow first-up second and an equally marginal last-start win but his inability to put his rivals to the sword in those races has prompted Snowden to refit him with winkers.
“His first start he had an inclination to lay in going after the horse and he did it again last Saturday. When he got past the leaders he wanted to duck in, so it’s just to correct him so he goes straight when he does get to them,” Snowden said.
“I’m really happy with the way he’s gone, his work has been great.
“He’s down on level weights this time where he’s been carrying 59 (kilograms) his last two starts. That’s a major thing for him against similar sorts of horses he’s been meeting.”
Darley will also be represented by Safeguard in the Royal Sovereign.
The colt has a perfect first-up record from three attempts and Snowden was buoyed by his recent third to Lankan Rupee in a barrier trial.
Stable rider Kerrin McEvoy has stuck with Sidestep with Hugh Bowman to partner Safeguard.