James puts faith in star mare
20 March 2015
Such is the trust that Roger James has in Silent Achiever (O’Reilly) the Cambridge trainer is remarkably at ease ahead of Saturday’s Gr.1 $A500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
James only has to think back 12 months when all the talk in the lead-up to the Ranvet Stakes was that the race was a two-horse war that would determine Australasia’s best weight-for-age horse – Dundeel or Carlton House.
As it turned out, the Kevin Hickman-bred and raced Silent Achiever upstaged that pair, beating Carlton House by a nose with a length and three-quarters back to Dundeel in third.
“We read all the reports last year when they told us it was the strongest Ranvet Stakes field in 10 years and that it would be the decider between Dundeel and Carlton House on who was the best weight-for-age horse,” James said.
“With Silent Achiever, I’ve become more relaxed. I know her very well and know what she’s capable of. You can only ready your own horse for a big race and we quietly went about doing that last year and we’ve done that again.
“We’re there to win it and if things went right, she’s capable of doing that. You’ve got to respect Contributer and the Japanese horse [Tosen Stardom] is obviously very good, though we don’t know a lot about him. Silent Achiever’s record speaks for itself.”
A winner of 10 of her 32 starts, Silent Achiever resumed with a fifth placing in the Gr.2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick before finishing fourth in the Gr.1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm last start.
“She’s had a good build-up and she’s coming to her peak at the right time,” James said.
“The Chipping Norton run was as good a mile as you could get out of her at the top level and it showed we were right on track with her. The 2000m is probably a bit short of her optimum distance now but on the way up as she is at present, she’s well capable of winning this.”
TAB bookmakers had Silent Achiever as an equal $5 second favourite to become just the 10th horse to win successive Ranvets and the first mare in more than 50 years. She shares that price with He’s Your Man, with Contributer a $2.25 favourite.
James will assess Silent Achiever’s run on Saturday before deciding between Saturday week’s Gr.1 $A2.25 million The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill and the Gr.1 $A4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 11.
“She’ll have just one more run. She proved in the Cox Plate she can foot it with the best over 2000m and if she was to run a slasher on Saturday we might go three weeks into the Queen Elizabeth or we might go one week into the BMW. She’s only been a nose from winning two BMWs so far.”
James confirmed Silent Achiever remained on track for a tilt at the Gr.1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on October 4. – NZ Racing Desk