New Zealand trainer Roger James is not frightened to take on the colts and geldings with his filly Silent Achiever in the Rosehill Guineas tomorrow.
The New Zealand Derby winner is the only filly in the Group 1 $500,000 Flinders Lane Rosehill Guineas (2000m) but this is not a concern for James after Silent Achiever has easily accounted for the boys with several wins in New Zealand.
Silent Achiever is the winner of her last four starts including her last start victory in the Group 1 NZ$750,000 Telecom New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 3.
Also James was of the view if he started Silent Achiever this week he was able to bypass Australian Guineas winner Mosheen who is going to the Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill next week as well as giving him time to decide on an Australian Derby start or a start in the ATC Oaks.
“It’s not that I think I’m that good that I should be taking on the colts but I just thought it’s a great alternative to taking on Mosheen,” James said.
“Mosheen does look the most dominant, and it does give us the option of going to either the Derby in two weeks or the Oaks in three weeks by going this way.”
James is confident Silent Achiever can reproduce her Kiwi form in Australia but will wait until after the weekend to decide what path he is to take for the remainder of the Autumn, the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick in two weeks or the Group 1 $550,000 ATC Oaks (2400m) at Randwick the following week.
“It’s hard to gauge how she’s going to go here. I think Saturday is going to be a defining race for a lot of them,” he said.
“But you can take nothing away from the way she’s done it and what she’s done so far.”
“She’s had four races over ground all at Group level, she’s met the colts in three of them and she’s won them all with her ears pricked.”
If Silent Achiever can take out another Group 1 race in Australia, James might have to elevate the filly to the top of his list after always rating his Derby winner Zonda as the best horse he has had through his stable.
“Since I’ve been training I’ve always said Zonda was the measuring stick. He was a bit freakish,” James said.
“Unfortunately we didn’t see him much after his three-year-old year but he was very good.”
“She is the best filly I’ve trained and she could be up there with Zonda, I don’t know.”
Silent Achiever remains the $4 favourite for the Guineas even though she will start from barrier fifteen, a problem James says he will leave up to the skills of Hugh Bowman.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Laser Hawk is on the second line of betting at $6.50 and fellow Kiwi three year old Ocean Park is at $7.50.