Roger James didn’t have a starter at Matamata today but still had good reason to leave the course in a positive frame of mind.
The Cambridge trainer returned to his former base with stable members Silent Achiever, Full Of Spirit and Bellazeel, using the opportunity to advance their spring preparations with a hitout between races.
Silent Achiever, the champion three-year-old of 2011-12 and a photo-finish second in the BMW Stakes last April, took her Melbourne carnival preparation a stage further with a solid 1200 metres in company with Bellazeel, running the distance in 1:17.2, the last 1000m in 1:04.3 and 600m in 37.7.
The gallop left James satisfied that Silent Achiever is on target for her Melbourne spring campaign, which will begin in the 1400-metre Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on August 31. With James McDonald committed to fellow Cambridge galloper Dundeel in the same race, the O’Reilly mare will be ridden by Melbourne heavyweight jockey Steven Arnold.
Full Of Spirit was, if anything, even more impressive in her gallop, initially trailing several lengths behind her stablemates before drawing them in to complete 1200 metres in 1:15.6, 1000m in 1:03.4 and 600m in 37.2.
The Flying Spur mare, who won the Adrian Knox Stakes in Sydney as an autumn three-year-old and finished second in the Rich Hill Mile during a luckless 2012-13 campaign, will kick off her season in the Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings on August 31.
- The Informant