Last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed is amongst 53 nominations for the Australian Cup at Flemington on March 10.
The four-year-old mare will run in the race on her way to the Group 1 The BMW in April.
Co-trained Leon Macdonald, who trains Southern Speed alongside Andrew Gluyas, believes his filly can continue her spring success this autumn.
“I think 2,400 metres is her best trip, so the BMW might be the best race for her this time in, but we’re going to the Australian Cup where I think she will run well,” Macdonald said.
Southern Speed will begin her autumn campaign in tomorrow’s Listed John Dillon Stakes at Caulfield.
Macdonald understands the race’s 1,400 metres may be too short for Southern Speed.
“She’s done plenty of work to be ready for this and although the trip is going to be a bit short for her, she’s fresh and feeling good and should run on well,” he said.
The Southern Image mare has had just one run since winning the $2.6 million Caulfield Cup, finishing fourth in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes last October.
”She just raced a bit dour but was coming back (400 metres) in distance,” Macdonald said of her Mackinnon Stakes run.
”She went to the line as well as anything but was just a bit one-paced.”
Southern Speed earned a guaranteed spot in last year’s Melbourne Cup after her Caulfield Cup win, however, her trainers chose not to run her in the $6 million race.
This time the talented stayer will be considered for a chance at Australia’s biggest race.
”I didn’t even think about entering her for the Melbourne Cup last year as she’d only ever started six times before the spring began,” Macdonald said.
”But I’ve always thought she’d be the type of mare to run two mile as she can relax.”
Americain, Descarado, Glass Harmonium, Green Moon, Ranger and Wall Street are amongst the Australian Cup nominations.