Quality New Zealand-based mare Silent Achiever is set to race exclusively in Melbourne during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival with the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) the ultimate goal for the former New Zealand Derby winner.
Silent Achiever has been nominated for the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m), Windsor Park Plate (1600m) and Spring Classic (2040m) during the Hawkes Bay Carnival but trainer Roger James told TVN today that the O’Reilly mare is unlikely to contest the races and will instead travel to Melbourne to begin her campaign at the end of August.
“We’ve nominated Silent Achiever mainly as a back-up in case her Melbourne campaign has to be called off for some reason,” James said.
“At this stage she won’t be seen in New Zealand this spring as we will kick her campaign off in Melbourne in about five weeks.
“She will travel straight to Melbourne once we have her program mapped out, but I’m leaning toward starting her at Caulfield in the last week of August or at Flemington the following week.”
Silent Achiever raced well in Australia during the 2013 Autumn Racing Carnival without breaking through for a win and if she replicates that form will be very competitive during the spring.
She started her campaign when fourth behind Shoot Out in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) before stepping up in distance for the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and finished fifth behind Foreteller.
The rising five-year-old produced her best performance when flying home to finish second in the Group 1 BMW (2400m) and finished her campaign with a slightly flat performance in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
James has set the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Melbourne Cup as the major targets for Silent Achiever this spring but she will have to defy recent history to be successful in either race.
Nightmarch in 1928 was the last New Zealand Derby winner to go on and win the Melbourne Cup, although Xcellent (2005) and C’est La Guerre (2008) both finished third in ‘the race that stops a nation’ after winning the three-year-old classic, while no New Zealand Derby winner has ever been victorious in the Caulfield Cup.