Some Lofty Goals Await Silent Achiever For Final Campaign

The Kevin Hickman-owned O'Reilly mare, Silent Achiever, is in the early stages of her final Australasian campaign.

The daughter of Winning Spree has been going through her paces at the Cambridge training track under the ever-watchful eye of trainer Roger James. He has gradually increased her workload towards her first public appearance since a thrilling third in Cox Plate, behind Adelaide and Fawkner, at Moonee Valley in October.

The four-time Group I winner is scheduled to undertake an exhibition gallop at the Karaka Million meeting on January 25 as the momentum builds towards some exciting goals.

At the tailend of last summer and through the autumn the 10-race winner was in devastating form as she reeled off four wins in succession, three at Group I level - one in New Zealand and two in Sydney.

If she can replicate that form this year, the world will be her oyster as tentative plans have been laid for a European campaign that will and consume her Australasian admirers.

No matter what she does in the next few months, the journey to Europe will go ahead with or without a race. The plan includes a mating with the sensational Frankel.

"We will breed her to New Zealand time and she will be over there for up to two years," Hickman said. "We have a good stud over there who will look after her and if things go well she will also visit Galileo and possibly Sea The Stars - that's what we are looking at."

Should the winner of nearly $3.6 million be firing on all cylinders like last year, a three-race campaign will be undertaken culminating in one of the great races - the 2400m Prix de l'arc de Triomphe.

"We probably won't take her over there too early," Hickman said. "And she would have to settle in the United Kingdom but she usually does settle well."

A seasoned traveller, she has undertaken a number of Australian campaigns and has become accustomed to different environments.

"Things will have to line up but 2400m is her best distance and she handles all types of ground."

What a swansong it would be to have a New Zealand-bred, owned and trained horse competing against the best.

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, rated by many as the world's greatest thoroughbred contest, is run annually at weight-for-age over 2400m in Paris on the first Sunday in October.

Meantime, James is concentrating on following a similar programme to last year, starting in New Zealand and culminating at The Championship in Sydney. Then maybe ending in Paris in October.

- Stuff.co.nz

Posted: Fri 09 Jan 2015

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