Roger James has a chance of a midweek trans-Tasman double ahead of the realistic prospect this Saturday of the Cambridge trainer celebrating his first Group One victory in Melbourne.
He will be represented on Wednesday by the well-bred debutants La Pin and Tipilk at Avondale and at Caulfield with the highly-regarded mare Zonza.
James will then put the finishing touches on Silent Achiever, who will attempt to credit him at the weekend with his 26th Group One winner, and fifth in Australia, when she takes her place in the $A2.5 million Caulfield Cup.
"I think she has had, in my mind, the perfect preparation for her," James said. "She's better placed at a mile and a-half and in handicap company. This was one of the two main aims for her."
Silent Achiever’s lead-up form has been sound with sixth placings in both the Gr.1 Underwood Stakes and the Gr.1 Turnbull Stakes.
Stablemate Zonza booked her trip to Melbourne with a first-up win at Te Aroha over 1400 metres and will step up to a metric mile in an $A135,000 event at Caulfield. The very much in-form Damien Oliver has been booked to ride the Zabeel mare, who was stakes placed at Rosehill in the autumn.
On the home front, James has both La Pin and Tipilk in the closing maiden race on the Avondale programme.
The Pentire filly La Pin is out of the former good racemare Hasta La Ciao Ciao, who won five races in New Zealand from James’ stable. He also successfully campaigned her in Australia where she won the Listed Gai Waterhouse Classic in Queensland and the Listed Summoned Stakes in Melbourne.
La Pin has been a trial placegetter as has Tipilk, who will carry the Zonza colours of Brendan and Jo Lindsay. By Volksraad, she is a grand-daughter of the former champion mare and Gr.1 Japan Cup winner Horlicks
- NZ Racing Desk