Roger James returned to his Cambridge stable last night well satisfied that Silent Achiever is poised for another big Sydney autumn campaign.
In her first start since finishing a close third in the Cox Plate last October, the O’Reilly mare put in big late strides for fifth in the Gr. 2 Apollo Stakes over 1400 metres at Randwick on Saturday. While she might not have produced the same turn of foot as the winner, Godolphin import Contributer, James was left convinced that she is right up to the form that netted three Group One weight-for-age wins last autumn.
“I thought she had the toughest run in the race caught three-wide third last and having to come wide to make her run,” James said, an observation that first-time rider Kerrin McEvoy concurred with.
“Kerrin was hard on himself afterwards and agreed that it was a very good effort by the mare. She trotted up well yesterday morning and she’ll take a lot of improvement out of it.”
McEvoy has committed to the six-year-old for at least her next two starts, the Gr. 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and the 2000-metre Ranvet Stakes three weeks later.
Silent Achiever won last year’s Ranvet and added the BMW Stakes before finishing third in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but with the schedule altered this year, James is keeping an open mind.
“I’ve made no plans beyond the Ranvet as the BMW is only a week later, so it’s a matter of whether we back up there or wait three weeks for the Queen Elizabeth.”
Stablemate Delago’s Secret may join Silent Achiever in Sydney following his fresh-up fifth over 1500 metres at Ellerslie on Saturday.
“That looked like a good run,” James said of his City of Auckland Cup winner. “The Lord Mayor’s Cup and Chairman’s look like good races for him and all going well, maybe the Sydney Cup.”
- The Informant