Mosheen getting back to best

Sunday 23 September 2012, 1:56pm

Glamour mare Mosheen has all but caught up with the schedule disrupted by a minor throat operation and is a definite runner in next Sunday's Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.

Trainer Robert Smerdon was already delighted with the mare's progress, but was particularly pleased after she came through her second -up run in Saturday's Sportingbet Sprint Heat (1200m) in such good style.

Mosheen finished fifth, putting to rest any lingering concerns over the operation and her lacklustre first-up run at Flemington two weeks ago.

Jockey Nick Hall reported the mare had travelled comfortably and that her breathing was normal throughout the race won by Detours.

"The operation put a bigger hole in her preparation than I thought," Smerdon said.

"We won't really catch up, but we will be very close after her next start."

Mosheen will be more suited by the 1400m of next week's race which will be followed by the Group One Toorak Handicap (1600m) on October 13.

Smerdon will then decide whether to press on to the Cox Plate.

While the Cox Plate is still on the program for Mosheen, it is off the agenda for Adelaide mare Southern Speed.

Trainer Leon Macdonald is focused on Southern Speed defending her Caulfield Cup victory of last year, particularly after she showed a touch of dourness when fourth in the Underwood Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

"We'll got to the Turnbull Stakes and then the Caulfield Cup," Macdonald said.

"The Cox Plate is off the list."

Betting on the country's premier weight-for-age race received a minor shake-up with Ocean Park's Underwood Stakes win and is almost certain to come in for further revision after boom colt Pierro makes his Melbourne debut at Friday night's Moonee Valley meeting.

Pierro, the reigning Cox Plate favourite, runs in the Group Two Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m).

The Gai Waterhouse-trained colt is $5 Cox Plate favourite after Saturday's racing, with Ocean Park the closest to him at $6.


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