Defending champion Southern Speed will be targeted towards the prestigious Group 1 $2.65 million 2012 Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival.
The Leon Macdonald-trained mare won the event in convincing fashion as a four-year-old, finishing 1 1/12 lengths in front of import Green Moon.
On that day the daughter of Southern Image carried just 52kg and Macdonald said only a heavy weight would put a stop to a second straight Caulfield Cup campaign.
“Even though her form was pretty good, she has only won an ordinary race since the Caulfield Cup, so I didn’t think she’d get weighted out of the Caulfield Cup and that’s probably the best race for her,” Macdonald said.
Macdonald has all but ruled out a tilt at the weight-for-age Cox Plate, suggesting she would have to show great improvement in the early stages of her spring campaign to gain a start.
“She’s probably not really a Cox Plate horse, unless she’s going better than she was last year, but I suppose that’s something she’s going to tell us,” he said.
Since taking out the Caulfield Cup, Southern Speed has won just once from seven starts but has shown plenty of promise at the elite level.
The talented mare won the Listed John Dillon Stakes at Caulfield in January before finishing runner-up to Black Caviar in the CF Orr Stakes (1400m).
Her best performance of the autumn came in the $1 million Australian Cup in March when she was beaten by a nose by Manighar who went on to become one of the stars of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
The Adelaide-based horse will kick off her spring campaign at her home track at Morphetville in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (August 11) and the Listed Penny Addition Stakes (August 25) before arriving in Melbourne for the Group 2 Stocks Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 15.
Macdonald said she would follow a similar route to last year’s campaign meaning she will tackle two Group 1 races before the Caulfield Cup in the Underwoods Stakes (1800m) and the Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
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