Silent Achiever and Touch Win will bypass the New Zealand Cup carnival at Riccarton, Cambridge trainer Roger James has revealed.
Silent Achiever had been the $4 favourite for next month’s Gr II $230,000 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile on the TAB’s futures market, but James yesterday said the Gr I New Zealand Derby winner would now head to Melbourne.
James outlined plans to start Silent Achiever in the Gr II A$220,000 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 27 ahead of the Gr II A$250,000 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 10.
James said the decision to head to Australia had been made after discussions with Christchurch owner Kevin Hickman, who had split loyalties between chasing a potentially important Group win in Melbourne for his star mare and campaigning her in his home town.
‘‘A decision was made for her to go to the Crystal Mile on the 27th and then two weeks later to the Matriarch Stakes,’’ James said yesterday.
‘‘Kevin’s a good friend of the sponsor, Ray Coupland, and he wanted the information made public as soon as possible because he didn’t want to detract from the Coupland’s Mile or weaken the field.’’
James said Touch Win wouldn’t be making the trip to Riccarton either after he showed he wasn’t ready for the Gr I $400,000 2000 Guineas (1600m) on November 10 with a fifth placing in last Saturday’s Gr II Hawke’s Bay Guineas that lacked the required professionalism to press ahead.
Instead, Touch Win, who was backed in to $12 in the TAB’s futures market, will contest a 1200m Rating 65 three-year-old race at Ellerslie on October 27 as he builds towards a start in the Gr I Levin Classic (1600m) at Otaki on November 30.
James will still have a presence at Riccarton, confirming last-start Listed Soliloquy Stakes winner Misstrum would have next start in the Gr II $85,000 Wellington Guineas (1500m) at Trentham on October 27 as a leadup to the Gr I $300,000 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 17.
James also confirmed Gr I targets in Melbourne for He’s Remarkable and Full Of Spirit.
He’s Remarkable claimed the third Gr I placing of his career, after the 2000 Guineas and his controversial relegation to second in last year’s Railway Stakes in Perth, when he finished on for third in last Saturday’s Gr I Spring Classic at Hastings.
James said the Pentire stallion would now go straight into the A$1 million Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 10.
Full Of Spirit ran an eye-catching sixth in last Saturday’s Gr II Blazer Stakes (1400m) at Flemington, coming from last after settling back from her outside draw.
‘‘She ran the quickest times of the day. Her last 600m was in 32.9 seconds and her last 400 was 21.84,’’ James said.
Full Of Spirit will have her next start in the Gr II A$220,000 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) for four-year-old mares at Caulfield tomorrow week before tackling the Gr I A$500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on November 3.
- Waikato Times