Trainer Roger James has confirmed that talented mare Silent Achiever will press on to the 2015 Chipping Norton Stakes after her pleasing first-up effort in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Silent Achiever was settled towards the tail of the field by jockey Kerrin McEvoy in the early stages of the Apollo Stakes and she never looked like a winning chance in the Group 2 event, but she responded well when asked for an extra effort to finish a most encouraging fifth behind Godolphin import Contributer.
James said that Silent Achiever performed better than he expected in the Apollo Stakes and he told The New Zealand Racing Desk that the O’Reilly mare had pulled up well from the tough run as she builds towards the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
“She trotted up yesterday very free and had a canter this morning and she was sharp and as bright as a button,” James said.
“I thought her run on Saturday was super.
“She had quite a tough trip – third-last and three wide without cover and she got flushed wide on the turn.
“To Kerrin’s credit, he was disappointed himself with the ride he gave her, but he said she really attacked the line and gave him a terrific feel over the last 250m.
“He was very upbeat about the run and he just said he would have liked to have given her a softer run.
“I went back and watched the replay and they were all talking up Lucia Valentina’s run and while she did run very well, I thought our run was every bit as good, if not better considering we had a tougher run.”
Silent Achiever will have the chance to defend her title in the Ranvet Stakes before James decides whether she steps up to 2400 metres for the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28 or contests the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
James is keen to take Silent Achiever to Europe following her 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign and she will contest the Prix Jean Romanet (2000m) and the Group 1 Prix Vermeille (2400m) in France before she potentially takes on the world’s best in the Group 1 Prix De l’Arc De Triomphe (2400m).
Silent Achiever is currently available at 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $13 with Ladbrokes, while To The World ($5) is a clear favourite from Adelaide ($6.50), Protectionist ($8) and Contributer ($9).