She may have been a touch fortunate but Southern Speed (Southern Image – Golden Eagle, by Zabeel) has posted the fourth Stakes victory of her terrific career in Saturday’s Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
Southern Speed had a nose to spare on the line from a most unlucky Manighar (Linamix – Mintly Fresh, by Rubiano). However, the imported gelding struggled to gain clear running for most of the straight while Southern Speed sprinted two lengths clear of her rivals passing the 250 metres.
Manighar launched late but fell just short, enabling Southern Speed to reverse the narrow margin between the pair in the Group 1 Australian Cup in the autumn.
“I don’t think the race was run to suit her,” Leon Macdonald, who trains Southern Speed in partnership with Andrew Gluyas, said. “I was a bit worried right on the line but thank goodness for (race caller) Greg Miles, he called it right.
“I think she has gone as well as she has ever come up. He’s a good horse Manighar, isn’t he?”
Macdonald said connections had not decided between the Group 1 Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate as the main spring target for Southern Speed, preferring to wait until after the Underwood Stakes before choosing a path for the 2011 Caulfield Cup winner.
Southern Speed is one of four Stakes winners sired by US-bred stallion Southern Image (Halo’s Image – Pleasant Dixie, by Dixieland Band), who served four books of mares at Widden Stud between 2006 and 2009.