With The Cleaner in the 2014 Cox Plate field there is expected to be plenty of early pace and trainer Roger James believes that the quick early tempo will suit his star mare Silent Achiever in the Group 1 event at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
James has always considered 2400 metres to be the ideal trip for Silent Achiever and she has won two Group 1 events over the distance, including the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) earlier this year during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
The leading New Zealand trainer elected not to step-up Silent Achiever up to 2400 metres for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), but he believes that the stamina possessed by the tough mare, as well as the return to Australia of Nash Rawiller, could give her the edge in the final stages of the 2014 Cox Plate this weekend
“I think that it will suit her well,’ James said of the expected hot tempo in the Cox Plate.
“It is fair to say that mile and a half is her best trip, but it will be a tough 2000 metres.
“She has the ability to sit fairly close to the pace and I think that the footing here will help her.
“I think that it will be a big help to put on somebody that has confidence in her to ride her the way that I want her ridden.”
Silent Achiever started the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival as favourite for the Cox Plate, but her odds to take out the Group 1 event drifted after she failed to perform at her best in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30, the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at the same venue on September 20 and the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4.
James admits that Silent Achiever has not performed as well as he would have liked this preparation, but he said that he was happy with the way the O’Reilly mare galloped at Breakfast With The Best this morning and is confident that she is close to her best form ahead of the Cox Plate.
“I thought that it was good solid work,” James said.
“It was what she needed with three weeks between runs and this is her one and only good solid hit out.
“She has pulled up well from it, she is no flashy worker and she never has been, so I am happy.
“Her form, solid is being polite probably, but I think that she is close to the form that she was in in Sydney.”
Silent Achiever remains in the entries for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4 and James said that he will make a decision after the Cox Plate whether the six-year-old presses on to ‘the race that stops a nation’.