Champion Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman has been given the honour of riding star New Zealand filly Silent Achiever in her first run on Australian soil in the Rosehill Guineas on March 31.
Unrivalled as the best three-year-old in the land of the long white cloud, Silent Achiever comes to Australia to be tested against the best same-age horses Australia has to offer.
Bowman has been given the ride ahead of young New Zealand jockey James McDonald who has an outstanding record of three wins from three starts when in the saddle of the New Zealand derby champion.
McDonald was the rider when Silent Achiever delivered trainer Roger James his fifth success in the prized New Zealand Derby and James said it was a difficult decision to overlook him for the experienced Sydney rider.
“We haven’t made the decision lightly and it’s certainly no reflection on James,” he said.
“It’s just that we felt we would best served by having an experienced jockey with a thorough understanding of local conditions.”
The three-year-old filly has proven herself to be a versatile horse, having won at distances ranging from 1600 to 2400 metres.
With five wins from seven starts, she comes to Australia with big expectations and her first test will be the 2000 metre Rosehill Guineas which is a Group 1 race worth $500,000.
Success in her first start on Australian turf was made easier yesterday when Australian super star filly Mosheen was declared by trainer Rob Smerdon as an unlikely starter.
On the back of advice from jockey Danny Nikolic, the Australian and Randwick Guineas winner will instead run in the Vinery Stud Stakes on April 7 which is likely to be followed by the Australian Oaks two weeks later.
“Danny thinks she should go to the Vinery so that’s probably what we will do,” Smerdon said.
“Everything is an option and we’ll look at it run by run.
“The preference is to keep her to her own age group and ideally her own gender so the Vinery and the Oaks would be the plan.”