Silent Achiever returned to racing for a credible fifth amongst particularly classy company in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 14th and has been confirmed to take her position in Saturday’s featured 2015 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Kerrin McEvoy settled the O’reilly mare towards the tail of the Apollo Stakes, and while already appearing well out of contention when rounding onto the final straight, displayed a keen turn of foot to finish in competitive position.
Thrilled with the form and condition displayed by the six-year-old over the last fortnight, trainer Roger James confirmed Silent Achiever will progress to a title defence of the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 21st before either contesting the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) on Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) during The Championships.
“She trotted up yesterday very free and had a canter this morning and she was sharp and as bright as a button,” James told the New Zealand Racing Desk.
“I thought her run on Saturday (Apollo Stakes) was super.
“She had quite a tough trip – third-last and three wide without cover and she got flushed wide on the turn.
“To Kerrin’s credit, he was disappointed himself with the ride he gave her, but he said she really attacked the line and gave him a terrific feel over the last 250m.
“He was very upbeat about the run and he just said he would have liked to have given her a softer run.
“I went back and watched the replay and they were all talking up Lucia Valentina’s run and while she did run very well, I thought our run was every bit as good, if not better considering we had a tougher run.”
A standout performer over the 2014 Autumn Carnival, Silent Achiever took out a minor over 1500m first-up before winning each of the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m), Ranvet Stakes and The BMW; returning to the paddock following a credible fourth in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Running fourth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) upon resuming in spring, the mare out of Winning Spree progressed to fifth in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and a luckless ninth in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) before placing an impressive third in the Cox Plate (2040m).
Included amongst 16 nominations, Silent Achiever is expected to be named in the 2015 Chipping Norton Stakes final field and barrier draw on Wednesday.
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