Jockey Clare Lindop remains positive about the prospects of Southern Speed in Saturday’s Australian Guineas despite her drawing out in the “car park”.
The unbeaten daughter of Southern Image drew gate 20 in the 16-horse field plus four emergencies in the 1600m Group One feature.
“We’ve got the visitor’s draw but one positive thing out of it is she is a very big filly and she’s only had the three starts and every time I’ve always pulled her to the outside,” Lindop said.
“So it would be better having her out and being comfortable in a bit of space than being down near the inside.
“The way Flemington races you can cover a little bit of ground and not be too badly off.
“Often at Flemington in a big field there is plenty of speed on which breaks the field up and it would be nice if I didn’t have to go right back on her.”
Lindop, who won the 2008 Victoria Derby on 100-1 shot Rebel Raider for Southern Speed’s co-trainer Leon Macdonald, has a very big opinion of the filly who has won three from three.
Last start she was an impressive winner of the Group Three The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington on February 19.
“She’s definitely one of the best I’ve ridden. She’s taking on some of the best colts and geldings which is a big ask for her, especially with the pressure in those bigger races,” Lindop said.
“But she’s a very exciting horse and has improved with each start which is always the sign of a good horse so I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Macdonald and his co-trainer Andrew Gluyas will also saddle up Spirited Eagle who drew barrier 14 in the Guineas and will be ridden by Danny Nikolic who won the 2004 Guineas aboard Reset.
Lindop, who has been on Spirited Eagle in four of his five wins, rode the Not A Single Doubt gelding when he finished third to Guineas rivals Bullbars and Startsmeup in the Group Three CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 19.
“I’ve ridden both horses in a little bit of work here at Caulfield this week and both have trained on and I can’t fault either of them,” Lindop said.
“Spirited Eagle’s a very solid competitor who always performs well on the day.”
Spirited Eagle will race in winkers for the first time with the blinkers coming off.
“He’s been racing a little bit too close so to run the mile out – on his breeding there is a question mark on him running out the trip – we’re hoping to have him ridden a little bit quieter on Saturday,” Lindop said.
Bullbars has been the best-backed runner with sportsbet.com.au firming from $13 to $9 behind $5 favourite, West Australian colt Playing God, and Kiwi filly We Can Say It Now at $5.50.
“He is comfortably our worst result,” sportsbet.com.au’s Haydn Lane said of Bullbars.
“Support for Playing God has been solid after he drew well (three) and there has also been some money for the unbeaten Southern Speed despite her starting from out in the car park.”
Late entry Under The Eiffel and Enjin Number Nine are on the third line of betting with Bullbars at $9 with Southern Speed at $10 and the Peter Moody pair, Caulfield Guineas winner Anacheeva and Eclair Surprise, next best at $15.