She won a Caulfield Cup, albeit against a lower class field than that which contested this year’s classic, but now Southern Speed has her eyes on the Cox Plate 2012 prize at Moonee Valley this weekend.
The Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas-trained Southern Image mare hit the big time last spring with a sensational campaign in Melbourne that started off shaky but resulted in a Group 1 Caulfield Cup victory as well as three other top four placings at the highest level.
Racing on competitively during the autumn this year, her best result a second behind Manighar in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), the now five-year-old faces on Saturday what is being spruiked as her toughest test to date.
Southern Speed bypassed the chance to defend her Caulfield Cup title this year after she ran a lackluster 15th beating home just one other runner in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) last time out.
While her 2012 spring season started on a high, Southern Speed winning two of her opening three starts including the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) where she turned the tables on Manighar before her credible fourth in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), connections had to go back to the drawing board after the Turnbull.
Originally accepted for the Caulfield Cup she was a late scratching from the $2.5 million showdown in favour of the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) this weekend.
She had drawn wide for the Cup and was going to face a crack field that included the past two Melbourne Cup winners, one of which won with Dunaden, and Macdonald and Gluyas believed the Cox Plate an easier assignment.
Whether that will be the case is debatable however with plenty of talent in the 2012 Cox Plate field including $4.20 favourite Pierro, and the two horses that Southern Speed ran behind in her two most recent runs with Underwood Stakes winner Ocean Park ($6) and Turnbull champ Green Moon ($4.60).
So can Southern Speed score one of the biggest Cox Plate upsets in history and win as a $31 (likely easing) roughie?
Or is she to be written off completely for this assignment which looks a little like a ‘Plan B’?
#11 Southern Speed – Horse Facts
- Jockey: Luke Nolen
- Trainers: Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas
- Owners: Mr B H Perks, Ms A M Clough, Mr T J Robertson, Mrs E A Robertson, Mr R B Fairclough, Mrs B D Fairclough
- Age: 5YO
- Gender: Mare
- Breeding: by Southern Image (USA) from Zabeel (NZ) mare Golden Eagle (NZ)
- Career: 24-7-4-2
- Win: 29.17%
- Place: 54.17%
- Last 6: x31140
- Prize Money: $2,710,250
- Track: 1-0-0-0
- Distance: 6-0-1-1
- Current 2012 Cox Plate Odds: $31
Why Southern Speed Is a Chance in the Cox Plate 2012
- Is a Group 1 Caulfield Cup winner which counts for something
- While mares have a poor record in the Cox Plate (6 winning at total of 9 editions) last year’s Cox Plate winner was a female with Pinker Pinker reigning supreme
- Is one of six horses ridden by a former Cox Plate winning jockey with Luke Nolen
Why Southern Speed Won’t Win the 2012 Cox Plate
- Was well beaten by Cox Plate fancies #9 Ocean Park ($4.60) respectively in her two most recent runs
- Her Turnbull run was a career worst with seemingly no genuine excuses
- Only six mares of won the Cox Plate in history
- Only has a moderate Win Rate of 29.17% which is one of the worst in this field
- Has only had one failed run at the track before
- Has had six starts over the 2000m but has only posted two minor placings
- Is one of the genuine roughies in the field paying $31 – only three horses are at longer Cox Plate odds
- Cox Plate seems to have been an afterthought for her and she was more likely ready for the mile and a half
Whether you are backing the Cox Plate betting favourite Pierro or getting behind one of their longer priced rivals such as Southern Speed for an upset the Cox Plate odds you’re after can be found online at bookmaker.com.au – home of the famous $400 bonus welcome bet offer!