Another change of “Silent” plans

Cambridge trainer Roger James (pictured) has made a further change to the original programme for his exciting filly Silent Achiever.

The daughter of O’Reilly has been entered for the Group I Wellfield NZ Oaks at Trentham on March 17 from the outset, but now that mission has been replaced with a tilt at the Group I Telecom NZ Derby at Ellerslie a fortnight earlier. And as Silent Achiever hasn’t been nominated for the Derby a late entry fee will need to be paid.

The other change has come with the Group II Falls Restaurant and Mullins Tyres Avondale Guineas at Ellerslie on Saturday being included into Silent Achiever’s programme.

The button was pushed for a Derby bid after Silent Achiever impressively defeated the smart Matamata three-year-old, Ocean Park, in the H.S. Dyke Waikato Guineas at Te Rapa on February 4. But at that time James was considering going straight into the Derby.

That all changed last Monday when James opted to throw in a nomination for Avondale Guineas. “If she went straight into the Derby I’d have to do a bit more work around home with her so she might as well run on Saturday,” said James. “But if the track turned heavy I could still go the other course and go straight into the Derby. I’m just leaving my options open.”

James says Silent Achiever has thrived since she registered her third win from five starts. “She looks like she is improving with every start,” he said. “I’ve always held her in high regard.”

James McDonald replaced the injured Vinny Colgan on Silent Achiever in the Waikato Guineas and he will ride her again on Saturday and also in the Derby. “Vinny is not going to be right for the Derby and James has confirmed the ride,” said Silent Achiever’s trainer.

Silent Achiever’s opposition on Saturday includes fellow Cambridge gallopers Carrick and Tilda. Carrick was impressive in his first two wins and was just pipped at Te Teko last start, while Tilda has raced three times
for a win and two placings.