Silent Achiever Takes Gr.1 Form to Sydney

O’Reilly mare Silent Achiever will take an impeccable New Zealand formline to the Sydney autumn carnival after her class proved too hot to handle for her weight-for-age rivals at Ellerslie on Saturday, the five-year-old following a first-up handicap success on the course last month with a winning stroll to victory in the Group One Lindauer New Zealand Stakes.

“It was a nice effort and she probably had to do that to take on the programme I’ve outlined for her,” trainer Roger James said. “It will be a step up for her but her fitness is improving all the time as well.”

Silent Achiever settled toward the back of the field and one off the rail before she sprinted to the front 150 metres from home and then cruised clear to win by a length and a half.

“I was pleased there was some pace and they didn’t pull up to a crawl – she is hard to ride any handier than that,” James said.

“She got the job done nicely and she’ll race in two weeks’ time in the Ranvet, two weeks after that in The BMW and then another two weeks on to the Sydney Cup.”

Silent Achiever was partnered on Saturday by James’s former apprentice Vinnie Colgan, who now plies his trade in Australia and has had to wait two years to collect his Group One victory aboard the mare.

He was her regular rider during the early part of her three-year-old season before he was sidelined by an injury that cost him the winning turn in the 2012 New Zealand Derby.

Colgan said it wasn’t all plain sailing yesterday but Silent Achiever’s quality quickly put the issue beyond doubt in the straight.

“She pulled a bit in the running and I was a little worried she was doing too much. But her acceleration was outstanding – in the last furlong she really put paid to them.”

The pacemaker Historian (NZ) (Choisir) fought on doggedly for second with Fortune Knight (Compton Place), one of the most improved horses in the country, a surprise third.

Colgan has enjoyed a successful stay in New Zealand and will remain here until the Manawatu Sires’ Produce meeting at Awapuni at the end of the month.

“I’ve been asked to stay on and, while Brisbane’s going really well, the money’s up here and I might as well stay,” he said.

  • Race ARC New Zealand S. Gr.1 2000m

  • Winner Silent Achiever (NZ) 2008

  • Owners K J Hickman

  • Trainer Roger James (Cambridge)

  • Breeding by O’Reilly out of Winning Spree by Zabeel

  • Breeder K J Hickman

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