Stablemates on target for Group Ones

Cambridge trainer Roger James was all smiles when he left the Matamata racetrack yesterday after watching his top mares Silent Achiever and Full Of Spirit further their Group One preparations in an exhibition gallop between races.

Silent Achiever, ridden by Troy Harris, worked alongside another stablemate, Bellazeel (Rogan Norvall) while Full Of Spirit (Mark Hills) settled several lengths off the pair when working over 1200 metres. The three went to the line in a bunch with Silent Achiever under a strong hold by Harris and Full Of Spirit also doing her work very nicely.

Silent Achiever and Bellazeel were timed over the 1200 metres in 1:17.2, the final 1000 in 1:4.3 and the last 600 in 37.7. In comparison Full Of Spirit covered the 1200 in 1:15.6, the last 1000 in 1:3.4 and final 600 in 37.2.

Silent Achiever will head to Melbourne later this month to begin a fresh campaign in the Gr.1 $A350,000 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 31. With James McDonald booked for Dundeel in the same event, she will be ridden by Steven Arnold.

“She worked beautifully, just what I wanted,” said James after the gallop. “I couldn’t be happier with her. She’s a stronger mare this time and she already ticks all the qualifying clauses for the Cups, so I haven’t got that pressure on.

“Her main aims are the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups and I just have to concentrate on getting her ready. She’s fit enough to go a bold race first-up in the Memsie.”

Full Of Spirit could also end up in Melbourne, though her immediate target is the Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival. She will resume in the Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) on August 31 then most likely back up in the Gr.1 Windsor Park Stud Plate a few weeks later.

“If she wins one of the first two down there I might take her straight to Melbourne,” said James. “The other option is to run in all three at Hastings (the last leg being the Gr.1 Spring Classic).”

James was also pleased with the work of Bellazeel, who was a maiden winner over ground last campaign. “It was good work by her against the other two,” said James. “She’ll start fresh-up over 1600 metres.”