Roger James has learned not to judge Silent Achiever on her trackwork as he prepares the filly to take on the boys again in Saturday's Gr. 1 Australian Derby.
Silent Achiever came up with barrier nine in a field of 13 for Saturday's A$1.5 million Randwick classic, just a couple of hours after jockey Hugh Bowman put the filly through her paces in her final serious hitout before the race.
"She's never been a great worker and that's what happened again this morning," James said. "Fortunately I said to Hughie beforehand, 'Don't be disappointed if she doesn't work flash because she never has yet'.
"To be honest I was disappointed with her work before the New Zealand Derby but my trackwork rider who is very good just said, 'Don't be concerned, she's all right'."
Silent Achiever won the New Zealand Derby easily before embarking on her Australian campaign. She is $4 second favourite with TAB Sportsbet for the Australian Derby behind Rosehill Guineas winner Laser Hawk, who remained at $3.20 after drawing barrier 11.
Despite not being the flashest worker, James said he was actually pleased with what he saw from Silent Achiever this morning in a workout with Derby rival Sangster. "I thought her work was actually pretty good for her. As quick as she's ever gone on the track I would think," James said.
After a round-table discussion with connections it was decided Silent Achiever would tackle the Derby rather than the Oaks a week later. Silent Achiever was third to Laser Hawk and Ocean Park in the Rosehill Guineas after dropping back from 2400 to 2000 metres. Both James and Bowman believe the step back up to 2400 metres will suit.
"She showed a great turn of foot and really sustained a gallop in the Derby and I think that's what might have been against her the other day," Bowman said. "Coming back in trip she just lacked that turn of foot."
- The Informant