Star mare Silent Achiever paired up with a familiar companion when she completed her last piece of serious work ahead of Saturday’s $A400,000 Gr.1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
The Cambridge six-year-old pleased trainer Roger James with her effort at Flemington on Tuesday morning.
“She worked out in the middle of the course proper on beautiful ground with Let’s Make Adeal, who she had worked with in Sydney (in the autumn) and it was a nice, solid gallop,” he said.
“They went over 1200 metres and came home the last 600 in about 36. It was exactly what I was looking for and she pulled up nicely, I was quite happy and this run will bring her on again.”
The Underwood has been dominated in recent times by New Zealand-trained horses with Dundeel, Ocean Park and Lion Tamer successful in the last three editions.
Safely through the race, in which she will be ridden by Damien Oliver, Silent Achiever will start in the $A500,000 Gr.1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4.
“After that I will be firming up plans for the rest of the spring,” James said.
His options include either the $A3 million Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley or the $A3 million Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 as a lead in to the $A6 million Gr.1 Melbourne Cup, in which she has 56.5kg, on November 4.
James will also have a Group One representative on the home front this weekend with Zonza scraping into the Windsor Park Plate field at Hastings.
The defections of Recite, who will contest the open sprint instead, and Survived, who has succumbed to a pulled muscle, have allowed the Zabeel mare into the line-up.
Zonza hasn’t raced since she was unplaced in the Gr.2 Travis Stakes at Te Rapa in the autumn, but she is a recent trial winner on her home course and is a past first-up winner.
The news isn’t so good for James’ trio of highly-regarded three-year-olds Mongolian Hero, The Austrian Oak and Cheval Etoile, who are all unlikely starters on a heavy track at Avondale on Wednesday.
- NZ Racing Desk
Silent Achiever with Roger holding the Melbourne Cup