Southern Speed to Step Out Ahead of 2012 Caulfield Cup

Defending Caulfield Cup champion Southern Speed will have a public gallop at Morphetville next weekend ahead of a spring campaign that could feature the 2012 Caulfield Cup (2400m) as the primary target.

Southern Speed

Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed will have a public gallop at Morphetville on Saturday

The rising five-year-old will be ridden between races at Morphetville on Saturday before beginning her spring preparation in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1200m) on August 11.

A daughter of Southern Image, Southern Speed will stay at her home track for the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) two weeks later before having her first Melbourne race in the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes on September 8.

Trainer Leon Macdonald has pencilled in the Caulfield Cup defence as a primary goal but admits her weighting will determine whether or not she lines up.

“If she gets what I hope, around 54 to 54-1/2 kilograms, in the Caulfield Cup, then we will have a go at the race again,” Macdonald said.

Macdonald said the Makybe Diva Stakes would be used as a guide for her and has not ruled out the glamour Cox Plate event.

The Adelaide mare has won just once since she took out the prestigious stayers’ race last year but produced an excellent run when a close second to autumn star Manighar in the Australian Cup.

She also finished runner-up to Black Caviar in the CF Orr Stakes but Macdonald suggested she was a touch below her best when fifth in both the Ranvet Stakes and the BMW.

“I don’t think she was at her top in Sydney,” Macdonald said.

If the mare does head for a return to the Caulfield Cup she is likely to come across emerging Peter Moody-trained stayer Brambles who is currently in work at Eagle Farm in Brisbane.

The Savabeel gelding was one of the stars of the Brisbane Winter Carnival, leading from start to finish in three consecutive races including the Group 1 Queensland Derby.

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