James Refuses to Concede 2015 Ranvet Stakes to Contributer

Just seven horses will line-up in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill this Saturday, which means the majority of attention has been given to Contributer, one of four horses coming via the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) on February 28.

Silent Achiever will look to defend her Group 1 Ranvet Stakes title on Saturday.

Silent Achiever will look to defend her Group 1 Ranvet Stakes title on Saturday. Photo by Steve Hart.

The noise surrounding Contributer as 2015 Ranvet Stakes favourite hasn’t scared off Roger James however, the trainer of defending champion Silent Achiever.

The John O’Shea-trained Contributer is the $2.45 favourite in the Ranvet Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au followed by four other single figure hopefuls, including Silent Achiever ($5.50).

“I think I read about this time last year where the Ranvet field was the best Ranvet field they’d seen in 10 years and we managed to win it,” James told Sky Racing.

“They’re all beatable.”

Silent Achiever won the Ranvet Stakes last year at a starting price of $13 despite fierce competition from the likes of Carlton House, Dundeel, and Hawkspur. The mare rolled forward to be allowed to work over and sit second. She had to cart up the field to the leader and nearly struck the front turning before he gave another surge. The mare lost touch but picked up the bit again and put her nose down on the line when it counted.

The 2014 Ranvet Stakes was one of three consecutive Group One victories for the six-year-old mare, who has failed to return to the winner’s circle in any of her seven subsequent starts. She has also been beaten twice by Contributer this campaign alone but James believes the return to 2000 metre distance will help her emerge victorious.

Silent Achiever enjoyed a minor placing in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) last October but has ran just outside the placings in her two starts in February – the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) and Chipping Norton Stakes.

How the mare runs in the 2015 Ranvet Stakes will also determine whether she backs-up in the Group 1 BMW (2400m) one week later or is kept for the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day 2 of The Championships three weeks later.

James will be watching the Ranvet Stakes race closely, as the international field will determine whether it’s worth taking Silent Achiever to France in October for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

“Obviously it’s the best way to judge them, what they’re meeting and what they’re beating,” James said.

“But this is first and foremost. We’ve got to strike good form here to warrant it (an overseas trip).”

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