Side Glance boosts Balding
Side Glance gave Andrew Balding and Jimmy Fortune a timely boost in the Investec Diomed Stakes at Epsom.
The trainer and jockey wouldn't be human if they didn't have a fraction of their minds occupied by thoughts of Bonfire and Saturday's Investec Derby but they combined to good effect in the Group Three over an extended mile.
Side Glance has improved steadily over the past two seasons and was scoring for the second time at this level having got the better of Dance And Dance at Salisbury last year.
There was just a neck between the pair on that occasion but the five year old gelding stretched his advantage to three parts of a length over Ed Vaughan's charge with veteran performer Mac Love flying home for third.
Sir Mark Prescott's Italian import Worthadd was sent off a well-backed favourite and everything looked to be going smoothly for the multiple Group winner as Mirco Demuro had him perfectly settled behind the front-running St Moritz.
In contrast, Side Glance refused to settle for Fortune and even though he made his challenge in the straight it seemed that those efforts might take their toll with Worthadd still appearing to be full of running.
However, the petrol gauge was soon showing empty as Worthadd was overhauled first by Side Glance and then by the fast-finishing pair of Dance And Dance who were probably not ideally positioned in rear in a steadily run contest.
The winner was emulating his sire, Passing Glance, who won this race in 2004 and Balding said: "I didn't think he would handle the track, but he's a talented horse.
"He was over the top when he ran in the QEII last season, not that we expected to beat Frankel or anything.
"He probably hasn't been at his best on his last two starts.
"He did plenty wrong today on the track, but managed to get away with it.
"I would have thought we'll run in the Queen Anne (Royal Ascot).
"Someone has got to finish second or third (behind Frankel) haven't they?"
"It's good prize-money in the Queen Anne. It will probably be a small field, he loves fast ground and a strong gallop is what he needs. He's in the form of his life" he added.
Fortune said: "He ran a bit keen early on as the horse on my inner was just setting me alight.
"I wanted to hang on and not get to the front too early as he'd used up a fair bit of energy beforehand.
"He had a little bit in reserve in the finish and pulled it out when he needed to."