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This year’s upset Caulfield Cup hero Southern Speed will avoid the hefty handicaps in the autumn, connections to weave a path through the weight-for-age features in Sydney and Melbourne next season for the South Australian mare, the 2012 The BMW her grand final aim.
The Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas-trained Southern Image four-year-old became a household name on the Australian racing scene this spring running in four consecutive Group 1 races in Victoria finishing fourth or better in all four.
Her most impressive and noteworthy performance was beating home a crack field of better fancied rivals in the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in mid-October.
She was last seen running fourth to Glass Harmonium in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Derby Day, a tough test as she came back 400 metres in distance and rose 3.5kg in weights from her Caulfield Cup triumph.
“That was a really good run,” Macdonald said of her Mackinnon Stakes performance.
“She was just a bit dour after winning the Caulfield Cup.”
Southern Speed is now preparing for an autumn carnival preparation that will hopefully produce similarly successful results to her spring campaign.
“She’ll come back to Adelaide next week,” Macdonald said.
“She’s done very well.”
Expected to resume in the $100,000 Listed John Dillon Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Australia Day, January 26, Southern Speed is also a possible rival to Peter Moody’s megastar Black Caviar in the $400,000 Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) the following weekend.
Macdonald named the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 3 as Southern Speed’s main Melbourne Autumn Carnival aim.
She will then be sent to Sydney to run in the $400,000 Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 24 followed by her grand final in the $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) on Golden Slipper Day, Easter Saturday, April 7, 2012.
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