Racing: Silent Achiever has class to win

By Mike Dillon

Mare needs to be tough to score against all the stars in Sydney's first group one feature of the autumn.

James McDonald's record on Silent Achiever is four wins, including the NZ Derby, and one second. Photo / Richard Robinson
James McDonald's record on Silent Achiever is four wins, including the NZ Derby, and one second. Photo / Richard Robinson

It's what Sydney punters can't see rather than the physical presence that will be critical when Silent Achiever tackles today's A$350,000 ($434,000) Chipping Norton Stakes at Warwick Farm.

The slightly smaller than average frame hasn't greatly changed, but the glue holding it together has.

For glue, read maturity.

And in racehorses maturity equals toughness.

The New Zealand mare is going to need all that toughness to score against all the appropriate stars in Sydney's first group one feature of the autumn.

Silent Achiever has the class to do it as she proved when she walked away with the New Zealand Derby a year ago and again in the Waterford Crystal Mile in Melbourne in the spring.

"I have battled immaturity with her right through her career," James said yesterday.

"That's why we decided to give her a light spring and targeted the autumn. You can't just keep racing them and she had a long 3-year-old preparation."

It is no coincidence Silent Achiever is tackling this tough race with just one preparatory raceday appearance behind her this campaign - it's a method that has worked for her and her trainer in her two previous preparations.

"We are sticking with what we know works. This is up a level, but it's worked before."

Safely through today Silent Achiever will be aimed at the BMW on Golden Slipper day, but she could run in the Doncaster if James determines that is the right option.

James McDonald rides Silent Achiever. The former New Zealand jockey's record on the mare is four wins, including the Derby, and one second, which came when the mare was beaten a nose, under 61kg, at Ellerslie at her last start.

"She would have won in another stride and she's really come on since then," James said.

"This run will tell us a lot about where we will go with her. She has always showed us that she would get a longer trip. That's why the BMW is our first target."

Punters have backed Silent Achiever from $8.50 to $8 in early betting in what is generally a tricky affair.

"She is the only one they have really come for early on," TAB.com.au's Glenn Munsie said. "There are a lot of questions over the form in the race with a lot of the runners coming out of the Apollo Stakes, which was run on a bog.

The top two in betting, Manighar [$5] and Shoot Out [$6], are both first-up, which makes it even tougher.

Shoot Out missed that run in the Apollo but did win first-up at weight-for-age over a mile in the spring."

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf01 at 21 Dec 2014 17:54:10 Processing Time: 414ms