Trainer Roger James is happy with the condition of Silent Achiever heading into the 2015 Apollo Stakes, but he does not believe that the talented mare is forward enough to win the Group 2 event at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
Silent Achiever has not been seen at the races since she finished a close third in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25, but she has done plenty of work in the lead-up to her return to racing.
James told Sky Racing HQ that he is happy with where he has Silent Achiever, but he does not rate her a winning chance in the 2015 Apollo Stakes and believes that the race will bring her on for future targets like the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
“I have her forward enough that 1400 metres won’t hurt her, but I don’t know if she can be competitive,” James said.
“Her best 1400 metres performance was in the spring and she ran fourth in the Memsie.
“She saved ground everywhere and I thought that was probably her best over 1400 meters unless we got a wet track, which could change things and bring her into it a little more.
“We want a run that will lead her on to the bigger things and a run that doesn’t knock her.
“Hopefully it will take her forward.”
While James is not bullish about the chances of Silent Achiever in the 2015 Apollo Stakes, he is thrilled with the physical condition of the six-year-old and was happy with the way that she came through the trip to Australia overnight.
James said that Silent Achiever has developed into a very impressive mare in the last 12 months and he is hopeful that she can replicate the form that she showed during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival when she took out both the Ranvet Stakes and the Group 1 The BMW (2400m).
“She travelled over well,” James said.
“She is very seasoned and she is nearly as seasoned as I am for travelling.
“After Tuesday I thought that she was ready and I have not had any need to do a lot more since then.
“She is very relaxed, she is in an environment that she recognises and she is very good.
“I think it is the only the last 12 or 15 months that I have been able to train her how I wanted to.
“Prior to that I was wrapping her in cotton wool and hoping I had her ready, but now I can train her to have her ready.
“It is a lot easier and she just copes so much better.”
Silent Achiever is currently available at 2015 Apollo Stakes odds of $10, while Contributer ($6), Weary ($6) and Lucia Valentina ($6) are locked in a battle for favouritism with [ladbrokes].