Filly set to achieve more

Smart Cambridge filly Silent Achiever put her hand up for an Australian trip when she produced an impressive display to beat the males in the Group II $100,000 Radio Live Championship Stakes at Ellerslie today.

The manner in which she downed the talented gelding Shuka in her first Group race success suggested she is a filly of Group One potential, a statement which trainer Roger James certainly agrees.

“I may look at taking her to Aussie at some stage. She’ll let me know,” said James. “There’s the Group One Arrowfield Stakes, as it used to be called. It’s over 2000 metres at Rosehill and I’ve won it before and I think it would suit her. I think at this stage 2000 metres may be her best distance.”

James won the 2002 Arrowfield Stakes with the top filly Sixty Seconds and with just four starts for two wins and two placings Silent Achiever is heading in the right direction. “You don’t win Group One races at carnival time in Aussie with tired horses so I want to take her at her peak,” said James.

Silent Achiever had been trials placed before catching the eye with a fast-finishing second on debut over 1400 metres at Te Aroha on November 17 then she again unleashed a big finish to win well over 1600 metres at Ellerslie on December 7.

Those performances earned Silent Achiever a start in the Group II Eight Carat Classic  (1600m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and the result was a strong-finishing third behind Planet Rock. And instead of taking on Planet Rock again today in the Royal Stakes, James opted for the Championship Stakes with Silent Achiever.

Ridden superbly by Vinnie Colgan, Silent Achiever sat at the back of the field and was still there turning for home. But once Colgan asked her to lengthen stride she powered down the outer to win comfortably by three-quarters of a length from Planet Rock’s stablemate Shuka.

Fellow Cambridge filly Lady Krovanh, prepared by Don Sellwood, fought on for third, three and a half lengths behind the runner-up.

James was full of praise for both Silent Achiever and Colgan after the race. “It was a lovely patient ride,” said James.

Colgan said he purposely waited on Silent Achiever until the home turn before making his run and he believes there is a lot more in store for the filly. “She’s untapped,” said Colgan. “There are many better things for her.”

Silent Achiever is a daughter of O’Reilly and the Zabeel mare Winning Spree, who picked up one win over 1800 metres in Australia. She is a half-sister to three winners, including Anotherchancetaken, who was third in the Group II Wellington Guineas, and from the family of the successful sire Don’t Say Halo.

Silent Achiever is owned by her breeder, Kevin Hickman, whose Valachi Downs stud will be offering a half-brother by Sakhee’s Secret in the Select Session of this year’s National Yearling Sales at Karaka.