Southern speed overcomes lame spring start

By: Mark Mazzaglia
August 13th, 2012

Southern Speed has made a quick recovery and is back on track to chase back to back Caulfield Cups after pulling up lame at her first Spring outing at Morphettville last Saturday.

The Adelaide trained mare pulled up sore after running home for third to Happy Trails in the Group 3 $115,000 Spring Stakes (1200m) at her first run since the Autumn but co-trainer Andrew Gluyas said that Southern Speed showed no signs of lameness on Monday morning.

Thoroughbred Racing South Australian stewards reported that Southern Speed was lame in the near fore foot after the running of the Spring Stakes and connections were advised that a Veterinary Certificate of Fitness would be required before the mare would be able to race again.

Gluyas is confident that the minor hiccup won’t affect Southern Speed’s Spring campaign and has earmarked the Listed $80,000 Sportingbet Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville Park on August 25 as her next outing.

“She was fine by Sunday morning and there’s no trouble today,” Gluyas said.

“She’ll go on to the Penny Edition on Saturday week and then to Melbourne.”

Gluyas and co-trainer Leon Macdonald are keeping their options open as to whether Southern Speed goes on to defend her Caulfield Cup crown or stay on the weight for age path and head towards the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27.

How she performs in the Group 2 $300,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 8 and what weight Southern Speed gets in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 will determine what direction they take.

“Even though her form was pretty good, she has only won an ordinary race since the Caulfield Cup, so I didn’t think she’d get weighted out of the Caulfield Cup and that’s probably the best race for her,” Macdonald said.

“She’s probably not really a Cox Plate horse, unless she’s going better than she was last year, but I suppose that’s something she’s going to tell us.”

Even though Southern Speed raced consistently in the Autumn, the only winner’s cheque she collected was first-up in the Listed $100,000 Barton Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on January 26 at the start of her Autumn campaign.

But the Caulfield Cup winner’s best effort in the Autumn was a close second to Manighar in the Group 1 $1m Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10 before heading to Sydney where the five year old finished fifth behind Manighar in both the Group 1 $400,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 24 and the Group 1 $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 7.

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