Cambridge trainer Roger James is contemplating missing the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4 with Silent Achiever after the mare was allocated 56.5kg when the weights were released on Tuesday.
James still has to confer with Silent Achiever’s owner but his favoured option is now to concentrate on the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
“I haven’t even spoken to the owner yet so I don’t want to overstate it but I’d say we will reassess the Cup now,’’ James told the Herald Sun.
“With that Tasmanian horse (The Cleaner) setting a good clip the Cox Plate might really suit Silent Achiever.’’
Front runner The Cleaner gained a free passage into the ‘Weight For Age Championship of Australasia’ with an all the way win in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 and a solid pace is guaranteed in the Cox Plate, which would suit Silent Achiever’s style of racing.
Silent Achiever was given two kilos more than her Caulfield Cup weight of 54.5kgs, but Racing Victoria’s general manager of racing, and chief handicapper Greg Carpenter explained that all the Melbourne Cup hopefuls were up two kilos because there was no apparent topweight in the one hundred and forty-eight entries.
Japanese stayer Admire Rakti was given the honour of being the topweight with 58kgs ahead of English stayers Cavalryman and Red Cadeaux, and stablemates 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon and last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner, all on 57kgs.
“Of the horses in the Caulfield Cup, he (Admire Rakti) is the highest-weighted of those horses who nominated for the Melbourne Cup so he went from 56 in the Caulfield Cup to 58 in the Melbourne Cup and a lot of the other entries also progressed by that two kilos,” Carpenter told Racing Victoria News.
“Without doubt this year’s weights are going to create a lot of commentary because they do differ from previous years, but as always, once the weights are out everyone understands them and will get on with the challenge of trying to win the big race on the first Tuesday in November.”
“It’s a year of opportunity because past winners like Dunaden, Americain and last year’s winner Fiorente is not there.”
“We probably haven’t got a standout weight-for-age horse like So You Think, who ran third in a Melbourne Cup after winning a Cox Plate and Saintly won a Melbourne Cup after winning a Cox Plate.”
Silent Achiever was outstanding in the Autumn and won the Group 1 NZ$200,000 Lindauer New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on March 8 before crossing the Tasman again to compete in the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The multiple Group 1 winning mare then went on to win a Group 1 double at Rosehill by beating Carlton House in the $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and then was too strong for It’s A Dundeel in the $1.5m The BMW (2400m).
Silent Achiever then rounded off her Autumn with a fourth to It’s A Dundeel who was able to turn the tables in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19.
James expects Silent Achiever to race well on Saturday in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield following her first up fourth to Dissident in the Group 1 $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30.
Silent Achiever is on the third line of betting for the Melbourne Cup with Ladbrokes.com.au at $17 with Fawkner and Admire Rakti behind the Gai Waterhouse trained The Offer who heads the market order at $13 just ahead of the other Japanese entrant Bande at $15.