Silent Achiever Set for Derby

By: Isaac Ling
April 10th, 2012

New Zealand star Silent Achiever gets another chance to showcase her talent on Australian soil in this weekend’s Australian Derby after an unlucky debut in the Rosehill Guineas.

Coming from barrier 17 in the Rosehill Guineas, Silent Achiever ran gallantly to finish third behind Gai Waterhouse gelding Laser Hawk and fellow New Zealand horse Ocean Park.

The star filly’s trainer Roger James said she was the horse to beat on the day but suffered after getting the toughest run of the field.

“There’s no doubt she had the toughest run in the Guineas,” he said.

“If she had been able to save half a length anywhere in the race she would have won by a neck.”

Widely regarded as the best three-year-old in the land of the long white cloud, Silent Achiever arrived in Australia boasting an impressive resume.

A winner of five of eight starts, the filly has a worst ever finish of second and cruised to victory in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby by two-and-a-half lengths last month.

The New Zealand Derby was run over 2400 metres so she should be at home when she turns out at the same distance in this Saturday’s feature event at Royal Randwick Racecourse.

Leading Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman rode Silent Achiever in her Australian debut and he will again be in the saddle when she attempts to win the prestigious $1.5 million Australian Derby.

After hearing Bowman’s thoughts on the star filly’s Derby chances, James is confident she will be near the front at the business end of the race come Saturday.

“My jockey said she doesn’t need to improve … she just needs a bit more luck,” James said.

The final field will be named later today but Silent Achiever’s Guinea’s rivals Laser Hawk and Ocean Park have already been confirmed by their respective trainers.

If Silent Achiever can win this weekend, it will be the second year in a row a filly has won the Australian Derby after Shamrocker last year became the first to do so in 22 years.

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