Silent Achiever sprang a surprise on her trainer when she took out the Group 2 Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley today.
The champion New Zealand three-year-old of last season ran down Rangirangdoo in the closing 100 metres to win by three-quarters of a length, with Toorak Handicap winner Solzhenitsyn third in an all Kiwi-bred finish.
Ridden by rising young Sydney-based New Zealand star James McDonald, Silent Achiever came into the race at her second start for the campaign following a fourth at Te Rapa earlier this month. Trainer Roger James said he had not expected such a run from last season's New Zealand Derby winner.
"It was a little bit of a surprise really," James said. "I thought she had a few boxes ticked against her today - first time around the Valley, first time at weight-for-age and to be fair the mile is far short of her distance.
"But she's a class act, always has been, and maybe maturity has topped her right off."
Trailing a hot pace from the start, Silent Achiever outlasted her rivals in the sort of quickly run race James was looking for.
"We hoped that it would be, because staying is her forte and we hoped it would make it into a staying test - and the best stayer won, really," he said.
The O’Reilly mare will now be set for the Matriarch Stakes at Flemington on November 10 rather than the Emirates Stakes.
"I think she'll go to the Matriarch Stakes - 2000 metres will suit her much better," James said.
- Waikato Times