Southern Speed To Defend Caulfield Cup Crown

October 8th, 2012

Southern Speed will still be a starter in Saturday weeks Caulfield Cup despite a terrible performance in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.

The defending Caulfield Cup champion was one of the first horses beaten in the Turnbull Stakes and finished fifteenth out of sixteen runners.

Co-trainer Andrew Gluyas said that there was nothing physically wrong with the mare and was hoping the spectacular failure was a one-time occurrence.

“There was no real issue that we could find and she’s presented herself well this morning,” Gluyas said.

“We’ll just see how she goes through the week but at this stage it’s business as usual with her.

“Obviously it was a poor run by her standards which is a concern, but as long as she comes through the week well she’ll take her place in the Caulfield Cup in two weeks.”

The performance was a career worst for the consistent five-year-old.

“That’s the thing that concerns you a little bit, she just doesn’t do it,” co-trainer Leon Macdonald said.

“We certainly expected her to go much better.”

The daughter of Southern Image has been in excellent form this campaign winning the Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) and Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).

She finished strongly in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and it appeared as though she was peaking just in time for the defense of her Caulfield Cup title before Saturday’s setback.

Southern Speed will be attempting to make history in this year’s Caulfield Cup by becoming the first mare to win the race more than once.

Macdonald is confident his star galloper can bounce back next Saturday.

“They can all run a bad race, her run might not have been much worse than Manighar’s was a fortnight ago,” Macdonald said.

“Let’s see what happens, it’s onwards and upwards from here.”

Bookmakers don’t share Macdonald’s optimism and the mare is out to odds of $17 in the 2012 Caulfield Cup betting market at bookmaker.com.au.

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