James praying for changeable Melbourne weather

Cambridge trainer Roger James was confident Silent Achiever was spot on for last Saturday’s Caulfield Cup but the weather spoilt the mare’s chances.

“The temperature was 27 degrees and it was blowing and the track was just too hard,” said James. “A lot of people were talking about it. Chris Waller had four runners in the (Caulfield) Cup and three of his jockeys told him it was too hard.

“Coming to the turn I thought she (Silent Achiever) was going to be right in it. Bossy said she surged under him at the 600 metres but she wouldn’t let down on the hard track.

“With Melbourne weather being so unpredictable, there could be some rain for the Melbourne Cup. I’d love to see some cut in the ground. A slow track would bring her right into it and affect some of the others.”

Silent Achiever wound up eighth, less than two and a half lengths from the winner, Fawkner, and she picked up $A75,000 for her connections.

The enormity of the Caulfield Cup bid hit home for James when he read the news reports surrounding Lloyd Williams’ win with Fawkner.

“Lloyd had been trying to win the race for 40 years and you can just imagine what kind of money he would have thrown at it,” said James.

“I think a lot of people in New Zealand don’t realise the magnitude of the race now, especially with the European horses involved, too. It’s become a world-classified race.”

Silent Achiever’s rider, Glen Boss, copped a 12-meeting suspension for careless riding on the mare, who also came out of the race worse for wear.

“She’s got stitches in both hind legs and one was a rather nasty cut, but she’s sound and that’s the main thing,” said James. “I’m not sure where it happened, but it was possibly where Bossy caused the interference.

“Apart from the cuts, she pulled up really well. Ten minutes afterwards you wouldn’t have known she had raced.”

Because of the stitches James has been very quiet on Silent Achiever since the race, but he hopes to have her working at the track tomorrow morning.

“She really needs to be back working tomorrow,” he said. “If she’s all right we’ll press on for the Melbourne Cup and she’ll go straight into it. She’s pretty clean-winded.”

James has yet to confirm a rider for Silent Achiever in the Gr. 1 $A6 milion Emirates Melbourne Cup as Boss is already committed to ride Puissance de Lune.

“I’ve spoken to one or two riders and hopefully I’ll be able to tie that up within the next few days,” he said.

Meanwhile James will be at Moonee Valley tomorrow morning watching Silent Achiever’s stablemate Zonza complete her preparation for the Cox Plate meeting on Saturday when working during the Breakfast With The Stars session.

“She’s done really well since she won over here and Steven Arnold will ride her in the gallop and again on Saturday,” said James. “Damien Oliver won on her, but he’s suspended.”

James has yet to decide which 1600-metre option to take with Zonza on Saturday. She will be entered for both the Gr. 2 $A220,000 Schweppes Crystal Mile  and the Gr. 3 $A150,000 Eliza Park International Stakes.