Silent Achiever Out to Atone in 2012 Australian Derby

Having been accepted for this Saturday’s 2012 Australian Derby at Royal Randwick, smart Kiwi filly Silent Achiever will be out to atone for her last start defeat as the beaten favourite in the Rosehill Guineas.

Roger James’ New Zealand Guineas winning daughter of O’Reilly travelled down under for the first time last month, Silent Achiever only managing to finish half a length away third behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained Laser Hawk and fellow Kiwi Ocean Park when running third in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m).

This Saturday she will get the chance to atone for her Rosehill Guineas failure, Silent Achiever hampered by a nasty barrier 15 draw, when she races in the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).

Connections opted for the Australian Derby over Saturday week’s Australian Oaks, the lucrative prize money on offer in the open-sex classic too good to ignore.

“It was a decision my owners and myself made together,” James said.

“We ran in the Rosehill Guineas to give us options and the Derby was one of them.

“It’s not going to be easy for her, no Derby ever is, but I’m happy with the decision.”

This morning a 13-horse Australian Derby 2012 field was released by the Australian Turf Club (ATC), Silent Achiever the only filly out to beat the boys in the classic.

Last year the Danny O’Brien-trained Australian Guineas winner Shamrocker won the Australian Derby breaking a 22-year drought for the fillies.

Now 12 months later Silent Achiever, who shares the sire O’Reilly with Shamrocker, will look to go back-to-back for the fillies in the feature.

Like Shamrocker Silent Achiever comes off a Rosehill Guineas third and if successful she will become the fifth Australian Derby winning filly in history, the others before Shamrocker being Rose Of Kingston (1982), Tristarc (1985) and Research (1989).

After jumping wide last start Silent Achiever has come up with a far more favourable gate in the Australian Derby barrier draw, the top fancy to start from barrier nine with Hugh Bowman retaining the ride.

“My jockey (Hugh Bowman) said she doesn’t need to improve … she just needs a bit more luck,” James said.

Silent Achiever will face plenty of talented rivals on Saturday including the duo that beat her home in the Rosehill Guineas with the winner Laser Hawk in barrier 11 and runner-up Ocean Park starting from gate six.

Ocean Park will be ridden by last year’s Australian Derby winning jockey Glen Boss who was aboard them last start.

Other notable hopefuls include upset Tulloch Stakes winner Polish Knight (barrier two), Tulloch runner-up Rekindled Alliance (barrier five) and Ethiopia (barrier 10) coming off a good second in the Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley.

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