Longshot Southern Speed came in for backing for the 2011 Group 1 $2.5m Caulfield Cup(2400m) run on Saturday after drawing perfectly in barrier four.
The South Australian mare was turned in from $21 to $16 with Luxbet after the draw which pleased co-trainer Leon Macdonald.
“Very good draw, it is lovely, she should get a very good run from there, you have to say she is a genuine chance,” he said.
Southern Speed will be having only her 12th start going into the Cup and tackles the 2400m for the first time.
To date she has won up to 1400m but placed behind Shylight in the Schweppes Stakes (2000m) at Morphettville in March when a good thing beaten.
That defeat along with her fourth in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) beaten three lengths by December Draw last start has put a theory in Macdonald’s head about his four-year-old mare.
“I think she likes to race off the fence,” Macdonald said.
“In both those defeats she just held her ground for the first half of the straight before getting off the fence and finishing strongly.
“After they go past the post the first time I would be wanting Craig Williams to be off the fence in the Cup.”
While Southern Speed has been lightly raced she has had no physical problems.
“She wasn’t the soundest looking horse when she was young so I gave her time to mature,” Macdonald said.
By Southern Image from a Zabeel mare Golden Eagle, Macdonald believes Southern Speed will run the 2400m of the Cup right out.
“I don’t think we have a problem with the 2400m, in fact I think she is well suited by the 2400m,” he said
“Obviously December Draw is very hard to beat, the measuring stick – I don’t know if he will stay,” Macdonald said.
“He has the best form going into the race but he had to pull out all the stops to beat off Glass Harmonium the other day (in the Turnbull) and I think it was a gut buster for him.
Southern Speed two starts back ran well in the traditional Caulfield Cup lead up the Underwood Stakes at Caulfield on September 17.
She finished second to Lion Tamer beaten just over a length after racing to the front at the top of the straight.
“I personally think she should have won the Underwood, I think the jockey went too early,” Macdonald said.
Southern Speed is Macdonald’s first Caulfield Cup starter.
“And I hope my first winner,” he added.