Last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed will get her chance to exact revenge on Australian Cup winner Manighar this weekend in the $400,000 Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens.
French gelding Manighar beat Southern Speed by a nose to take top honours in the Australian Cup at Flemington on March 10 and the quality stayers should again be near the front of the field on Saturday.
If Southern Speed is to avenge her Australian Cup defeat, she will have to overcome a host of a barriers such as a quality field of horses that includes more than just her French rival.
The four-year-old will also have to topple the likes of Chipping Norton Stakes winner Shoot Out, two time Group 1 winner Rangirangdoo and long time successful gelding Wall Street.
Southern Speed trainer Leon Macdonald said Shootout and Manighar would provide the toughest opposition for the mare.
“I watched Shoot Out [in the Chipping Norton] and he looked really good,” he said.
Southern Speed has a successful record that includes five wins from 17 starts with the most significant being the Caulfield Cup where she beat a host of high class horses including Manighar and Lucas Cranach.
A potentially rain affected Rosehill track as well as a first ever run in Sydney provide extra obstacles for the Southern Image mare but Macdonald is not concerned about the forecasted inclement weather.
“She has had two trials on bogs and won by the length of the straight both times,” Macdonald said.
“Admittedly they were against inferior opposition but the way she did tells me it won’t matter.
“She arrived in Sydney on Saturday fit and well.”
The Ranvet Stakes is one of two Group 1 races to take place this Saturday at Rosehill with the other being the Coolmore Classic.
Other horses nominated to run in the Ranvet Stakes include Germany’s Illo, last year’s Ranvet Stakes winner Zavite and 2011 Irish Melbourne Cup runner Hawk Island.