Successful New Zealand horseman Roger James has confirmed his star mare Silent Achiever will kick off her 2014 Melbourne Cup campaign in next month’s Memsie Stakes.
The rising six-year-old daughter of O’Reilly is Australia-bound again this spring following her killer autumn campaign down under.
She’s set to resume racing at Caulfield Racecourse in the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 30 where Silent Achiever will be out to improve on her first-up 11th behind Atlantic Jewel last year when blocked for a run.
“She’ll go to the Memsie first-up as she did last year and it’s fair to say she looked a trifle unlucky in the Memsie,” James told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“She never really got a go at all up the straight.”
Her major aim though is the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 4, a race the country’s premier bookie Ladbrokes.com.au is currently paying $34 for her to win.
Silent Achiever is no stranger to elite level racing down under having secured the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) – Group 1 The BMW (2400m) double at Rosehill back in March and April.
Her latest campaign ended with a fourth to fellow Kiwi It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on April 19, James having had her back in work now for nine weeks.
After a six week spell she returned to her Cambridge stables to gear up for a spring return and some ambitious new season targets.
Winner of the 2012 New Zealand Derby as a three-year-old during an outstanding first season of racing that included three other Group wins back home, Silent Achiever has competed in the past two Melbourne Spring Racing Carnivals.
Two years back she won the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley before a fourth to Midnight Martini in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
She had four Group 1 runs in Sydney the next autumn before a quartet more elite level assignments back in Melbourne last spring.
Her latest run that campaign was an eighth to Fawkner in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), which put to bed dreams of a Melbourne Cup run that season, with the mile and a half feature also being considered for her 2014 spring assault.
Silent Achiever produced a lovely piece of work over 1000m alongside her Group 3 2inning stablemate Zonza, which she completed in 1.06.6 including the final 600m in a breezy 38.3 seconds, this week giving James confidence of her return a month’s time.
“She did have a nice hit-out this morning, which was her first hit-out in company this preparation,” James said.
“I was really happy with both of their work actually, more so because of the way they pulled up afterwards as well.
“I think Silent Achiever is right where we want her.”
Between the Memsie Stakes and the Melbourne Cup the only other race James has locked in is the $400,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 20.
“I’ll make a decision once I see the weights as to whether we go to a Caulfield Cup or a Cox Plate on the way to the Melbourne Cup,” James said.
The 2014 Caulfield Cup runs on October 18 a week before Moonee Valley hosts the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), nominations for both races closing next Tuesday.
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