Cox Plate A Possibility For Southern Speed

Southern Speed

Southern Speed

Update: Southern Speed will not run in the 2011 Cox Plate and will instead contest the Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday week.

Southern Speed could yet be a Cox Plate starter as the Moonee Valley Racing Club ponders the final field throughout today.

Connections say they are toying with the idea of entering her in the event following her commanding Caulfield Cup victory on the weekend.

The original plan was to bypass the race in favour of the Mackinnon the following Saturday but an opportunity such as this for a horse in this kind of form could prove too hard to ignore.

Trainer Leon Macdonald says he thinks the horse would have no problem handling the seven day back up but he doesn’t want to push her too hard either.

“We know she won’t be able to run in a Caulfield Cup next year because she will get too much weight, so maybe that might be the time we go for the Cox Plate,” he said.

If Southern Speed is entered for the Cox Plate it would fill one more position in a race where spots are at a premium.

In fact if they decide to go to Moonee Valley there will be five horses in contention for only two remaining gates in the 14 horse capacity field.

That’s only if organisers decide to take on the maximum field as well with indications earlier in the week they may only be looking at a dozen starters.

Of those still trying to get in the field there are Efficient, Avienus, Pinker Pinker, Wall Street and Yosei.

As it stands 11 spots have already been filled, Southern Speed would make that 12 depending on the connections decision.

Unlike most other events the Group 1 Cox Plate field is decided purely on an invitational basis with special emphasis given to performances in the last 12 months.

With that in mind it would seem hard for former Melbourne Cup champion Efficient to get a start given he is returning from a long injury forced spell.

Pinker Pinker meanwhile would be well positioned with a recent second place finish in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap in Sydney.

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