is the dilemma facing the connections of high class mare Southern Speed, who
scored a thrilling win over Manighar (Fr) in the Group II VRC Makybe Diva
Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
Last year's Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed has looked in good order at her first two runs back from a spell and brought a fitness edge into this 1600 metre weight-for-age contest over many of her rivals.
Ridden positively by Craig Williams, Southern Speed (pictured Taron Clark) always looked dangerous and from the top of the straight was always the one to beat.
With Manighar stuck back in traffic, the daughter of Southern Image (USA) stole a march on her arch rival and had enough left on the line to hold him off by a nose, her overall record now an impressive seven wins and six placings from 22 starts with prizemoney of $2.6 million.
"I was worried on the line," confessed winning trainer Leon MacDonald.
"We left it to Craig and he rode here very well. He's the best around.
"She's in the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate, but no decision will be made until after the Underwood as you can't really do both as it's so hard to come back from the Cup."
A homebred for Toorak Park, that was foaled at Widden Stud and then raised in the wide open spaces of leading South Australian nursery Mill Park Stud, Southern Speed is by far and away the best offspring by former Widden Stud based shuttle sire Southern Image (USA).
Southern Speed is the third foal and first stakes-winner for the placed Zabeel mare Golden Eagle, whose dam is a full sister to Golden Slipper winner Ha Ha.
Golden Eagle was on-sold to Boggabri cattle farmer Rob Crosby for $12,500 at the 2010 Inglis Broodmare Sale and is due to foal to Excellent Art (GB) this spring.