Can James’ winning roll continue on Saturday?

Roger James went from one reason to celebrate to another at Caulfield yesterday.

The Cambridge trainer’s exciting day started with the official barrier draw luncheon for the Gr. 1 Caulfield Cup and he could not be happier with the number five alley he came up with for his top-class mare Silent Achiever.

“She should be able to get a cosy run from the barriers and if she’s good enough she’ll be there at the post,” said James. “With that barrier draw she should be able to take up a handier position than lately.

“It’s all up to Bossy (rider Glen Boss) now. I’m thrilled with her and I think I’ve done my job.”

James backed up his confidence in Silent Achiever’s chances when saying: “She was in good order going into the BMW in the autumn and I think she’s in better order now.”

Thrilled with the alley for Silent Achiever, James then turned his attention to stablemate Zonza, who was contesting the Gr. 3 Snowhite Maintenance Classic at the Caulfield meeting later in the day. And again it was good news for James.

Zonza, ridden by Damien Oliver, lived up to her favouritism to after tracking the pacemaker Two Sugars to the home turn. When asked for an effort early in the run home Zonza worked to the lead and kept up a strong gallop to win by a length and a quarter.

James was full of praise for the initiative shown by Oliver on Zonza, a mare who invariably settles further off the pace.

“I love a rider who can make a decision, whether it’s right or wrong, you have to put your neck on the line and he was proved right,” he said.

The win brought back memories of the similarly named Zonda for both Oliver and James. Oliver rode Zonda for James when winning the Gr. 1 Oaks Stud Classic at Ellerslie in January 2001.

Though Zonza is not related to James’ superstar, the mare is very talented and headed for higher odds in Melbourne, according to both Oliver and James. However, Oliver is likely to miss her next start on Cox Plate day because of a suspension he incurred aboard her yesterday.

James says Zonza has come through the Caulfield win in good style and is likely to contest a fillies and mares’ race at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day then go on to the Gr. 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 9.

Meantime, James hopes to add Saturday’s Caulfield Cup to his spoils. “She’s at a lifetime peak,” said James.