Rain the decider in Queen Elizabeth start

Continuous rain in Sydney has swayed the connections of Silent Achiever towards a start in the A$4 million Gr. 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick next Saturday.

Silent Achiever will seek her fourth Group One win in succession in the weight-for-age 2000-metre event, the jewel of the Championship meeting, rather than the A$1 million Gr. 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) on the same day.

“It hasn’t stopped raining over here since yesterday’s meeting and the forecast is for rain every day through to Friday,” said Silent Achiever’s trainer, Roger James. “The weather is terrible and I don’t want to send her around over two miles (3200m) on this track.”

James confirmed late today Silent Achiever would definitely start in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Nash Rawiller again booked for the mount.

Rawiller rode Silent Achiever for the first time when upsetting the favourites in the Gr. 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 22 on a good track and again when she was a dominant winner of the Gr. 1 BMW (2400m) on a heavy surface a fortnight later.

“They have done everything to make the Championships a success over here and even got 25,000 to the races yesterday in the wet, but there’s nothing they can do about the weather,” said James. “It’s a shame. It reminds me of the time I brought Corndale over here and was out at Warwick Farm. It rained continuously.”

James was at the Randwick meeting yesterday with Lady Cumquat contesting the Gr. 3 Adrian Know Stakes and spoke to several leading jockeys after the day’s racing about the track.

“When I was picking up the colours from Nash I saw Jimmy Cassidy, Tommy Berry and Damien Oliver and they were all really concerned about the track for next week,” said James. “Jimmy said it’s the worst he has seen Randwick and he’s been riding there for years.

Despite the shocking weather, James is pleased with Silent Achiever’s progress since she raced away from It’s A Dundeel and Fiorente in the BMW.

The heavy track yesterday foiled James’ plans to win the Adrian Know Stakes, though an early incident also affected the chances of Lady Cumquat, an impressive last-start winner of the Gr. 3 Higgins Manawatu Classic at Awapuni.

“The stipes took me into the room after the race to show me the video of the start,” said James. :”She got walloped from both sides. The horse on her inside came across and her rump caught Lady Cumquat’s shoulder and pushed her out, then she copped a wallop from the horse outside her.

“Nash said at the half-mile he gave her no show of being in it, then at the 600 she was travelling better and at the 450 he felt she had a show of winning it. But then the heavy ground got to her. It was a gutsy effort.”

Lady Cumquat is due to be flown home to New Zealand tomorrow to be prepared for a Queensland Winter campaign aimed at the Gr. 1 A$400,000 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on May 31.

“She’ll run in the Bracelet and Doomben Roses before the Oaks,” said James.