Trainer Leon Macdonald is willing to forgive Southern Speed after Saturday’s disappointing run and is certain that last year’s Caulfield Cup winner will bounce back to defend her title in two weeks.
The Vet’s couldn’t find anything amiss with Southern Speed but Macdonald could find a couple of excuses after the mare could only beat one runner home in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
“Of course she can bounce back,” Macdonald said.
“The vet’s gone over her and can find nothing wrong.”
“They can all run a bad race, her run might not have been much worse than Manighar’s was a fortnight ago.”
Jockey Glen Boss said after the race that the five year old mare didn’t feel herself on the way to the barriers and subsequently miss the start and was trapped wide throughout and failed to make up ground in the straight, while Macdonald said that the hard surface could has contributed to her out of character poor run.
“She missed the start and travelled four-deep the trip – she had a horrible run,” Macdonald said.
“She might have jarred up just slightly, but I’m not blaming that.”
“We’ll put it down to circumstances.”
“We’ll press on regardless. It’s onwards and upwards and we’ll see if I can turn her around.”
Southern Speed finished almost seven lengths from the Robert Hickmott trained pair of Green Moon and Seville who finished one – two and have cemented their spot near the top of the market for the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20.
Green Moon and Seville share the third line of betting at $13 with Southern Speed still in the market at $16.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Glencadam Gold has shot to Caulfield Cup favouritism at $5 after his all the way win in the Group 1 $400,000 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday while December Draw holds down second spot at $9 after a solid third to Green Moon in the Turnbull Stakes.
Macdonald, who trains in partnership with his son-in-law Andrew Gluyas is confident that Southern Speed can regain the form she showed early in the Spring when she won the Group 2 $300,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 8 after winning over 1400m in the Listed $80,000 Sportingbet Penny Edition Stakes at Morphettville on August 25.
Macdonald will give Southern Speed every chance to line up in the Caulfield Cup and defend her title after beating Green Moon in last year’s famous 2400m Group 1 Handicap.
“Let’s see what happens, it’s onwards and upwards from here,” Macdonald said.
Trainer Walter McShane has pulled the pin on a Caulfield Cup start for Norsqui and will send the six year old back to Tasmania after finishing a well beaten seventh in the Listed $120,000 The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Even though Norsqui was guaranteed a run in the Caulfield Cup after being exempt from the ballot due to his win in the Listed $300,000 Centrebet Mornington Cup (2400m) at Mornington on February 15, McShane has decided last Saturday’s poor run indicated that the six year old had come to the end of his preparation.
“It looks like the end of the run for him, I’m bringing him back to Tasmania,” McShane said.
“I’m not going to complain, it wasn’t the track he just didn’t perform.”
“I’m not pressing on, the horse is flat and has come to the end of his preparation.”