Onwards and Upwards for O’Reilly Derby Winner Silent Achiever

Trainer Roger James has signalled it’s onwards and upwards for star O’Reilly filly Silent Achiever following her bold win in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) on Saturday.
According to the five time NZ Derby winning trainer, Silent Achiever has come through her dominant 2.5 length Ellerslie outing in top order, effectively ensuring that her dual Gr.1 mission to Australia is still very much on the cards.
“She’s very well. We trotted her up on the lead the day after the Derby and it was as if she was on springs,” said James.
“This morning she had a light trot and canter and she was light and free, so at this stage Sydney is very much still on.”
Of her Australian assignments, James is keen to target the Gr.1 Storm Queen Stakes (3YOF, 2000m) – a race that he won with Sixty Seconds in 2002, and the Gr.1 AJC Australian Oaks (3YOF, 2400m) which features two weeks later.
Sure to be strongly supported for her Storm Queen Stakes outing on April 7, Silent Achiever takes to the Rosehill starting gate an imposing classic record of five wins from seven starts, with consecutive black-type success being registered at the most recent of these in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby, the Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m), the Gr.3 Waikato Guineas (2000m) and the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m).
Bred and raced by Valachi Downs principal Kevin Hickman, Silent Achiever is out of the winning Zabeel mare Winning Spree and is a half-sister to four winners, including the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas placegetter Anotherchancetaken (No Excuse Needed).
“She’s out of one of the best families in the studbook, tracing right back to La Troienne,” explained Hickman.
What The Connections Had to Say After the Derby…
5 Time NZ Derby Winning Trainer – Roger James
“I think we’ve seen a very special filly today. She has to go right up there with the best I’ve trained”
“I’ve always said Zonda was the benchmark, but she’s up there now”
“We may have discovered – dare I say it and I don’t want to say it – but this could be the horse you wait all your career for”
“She’s had four runs over ground, met the best in New Zealand, and won them all with her ears pricked. Yesterday might be a defining moment in her career and my career. She’s just the supreme athlete.”
Jockey – James McDonald
“It’s amazing. It’s hard to describe. She’s just the best filly with an amazing attitude”
“I slipped out of the gates quite badly … and I had her three-wide with cover but she’s just exceptional – amazing, a freak”
“The Telegraph was special, but a Derby on Ellerslie, my favourite track, this is an amazing feeling”
Breeder/Owner – Valachi Downs principal Kevin Hickman
“It’s unbelievable really. We’ve always sold our colts and raced our fillies so I never dreamed of winning the Derby, but this little filly has done the job”
“Zabeel mares are going to be gold and O’Reilly puts a bit of speed in there. He’s a fantastic sire and a very under-rated sire. I thought it was a lovely match and it’s proved to be a lucky one”

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