Liberty Steps set for Sandown debut

Ben Hayes doesn’t have much to work with in relation to experience with Sidestep progeny, but the trainer has been impressed by what he has seen from Liberty Steps.

The two-year-old son of the 2013 Golden Slipper runner-up, who is the sire of Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi, will make his debut in Wednesday’s $50,000 Ladbroke It Handicap (1300m) at Sandown.

Hayes, who trains in partnership with his brother JD, can’t recall having trained too many Sidesteps in the past but likes what he has seen from Liberty Steps.

“He’s the only one we’ve got, but he goes pretty good, so it’ll be interesting to see how he runs,” Hayes said.

Liberty Steps had a Benalla trial in spring, which he won, and finished third in an 800m Flemington jumpout on March 4 before winning a Kilmore jumpout the following week.

“I think he’s a horse that is only going to get better with racing, but on what he’s shown us at home he’s got a nice turn of foot.

“We’re stepping him out over 1300 (metres) and I’d expect him to be quite competitive off his trials. Off his trials and his work at home, I’d be disappointed if he’s not finishing in the top three.”

Liberty Steps will be ridden by Blaike Mcdougall and is an $11 chance in TAB’s market, which is headed by debut Cranbourne winner Roznamla ($3.10).

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