BMW to Serve as Guide for Silent Achiever’s Arc Mission

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: The world has come to Sydney for the BMW, so it is the right race for defending champion Silent Achiever (O’Reilly) to find out if she measures up to the best race in the world.

New Zealand trainer Roger James has plans to head to France later in the year for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Silent Achiever, but is realistic about what she needs to do at Rosehill on Saturday.

“I think she is going as well as she was last year and she won this race last year,” James said. “I would expect her to be in the finish on Saturday but it is a tougher race than last year.

“She would have to run well on Saturday for us to go to Europe. We have planned a campaign, starting at Deauville over 2000m and having three runs into the Arc but you would want to be competitive here to go over there.

“The owner is keen to go and there is the advantage of being able to go to a stallion like Frankel or Galileo, which we can’t do here, but you also want make sure you are going to be competitive.”

Silent Achiever hasn’t won since the BMW last year when she beat Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente and subsequent Queen Elizabeth Stakes hero It’s A Dundeel.

But even though that was a quality line-up it would be in the shadows of Saturday’s edition. It is a truly international affair with winners from Germany, England, Japan, New Zealand and Australia coming together.

Favourite To The World was rated Japan’s best three-year-old last year and comes from being a runner-up in the Arima Kinen, which was rated in the top five races in the world last year.

Godolphin’s import Hartnell brings Royal Ascot form, having won the Queen’s Vase in 2014, which has proved a fantastic form line in the past couple of years, with winners Leading Light and Estimate going on to win the Ascot Gold Cup the next year.

He has improved since coming to Australia under the care of John O’Shea and is at a trip where he will excel.

Add Protectionist and Who Shot Thebarman, first and third from the Melbourne Cup, and Rising Romance and Lucia Valentina that filled the placings in the Caulfield Cup and it outstrips any BMW.

James believes Silent Achiever is more than comfortable in that company. “She won this race by a couple of lengths last year and was runner-up the year before, she was third in the Cox Plate, so that shows where she sits,” the trainer pointed out. “I think she is really looking for the 2400m now and it is her best trip.”

Silent Achiever ran into fourth in the Ranvet Stakes last week in a race that didn’t suit her staying style when it developed into a sprint. Even jockey Kerrin McEvoy felt he probably should have got going a bit earlier last week.

“It was a bad ride but Kerrin came back and said she probably could have got going a little earlier. Those sort of races don’t suit her where they sprint,” James said.

“The tougher and harder the better for her. When she won the Ranvet last year, Carlton House made it a real test and it was the same in the BMW.

“The Cox Plate was a tough, hard staying race and I think we are likely to get something similar on Saturday. She loves that sort of test and when the pressure is on she has always raced well.”

There has been a bit of money for Silent Achiever in early betting and she has shortened from $13 to $12 but punters are confident To The World is the one to beat. The Japanese star opened $2.70 at Ladbrokes but shortened into $2.60, while Hartnell is a $3.60 chance.

(Chris Roots, Sydney Morning Herald)

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