Silent Achiever Downs Boom Colt

Roger James is the modern day Derby King.
The Cambridge trainer has won the blue ribband event on four occassions.
James was co trainer with Jim Gibbs of 1986 Derby winner Tidal Light before branching out on his own account.
Roysyn, ( 1995), Zonda (1997) and Hades ( 1999) further embellished his outstanding record in the race.
Last Saturday at Te Rapa, James’ unleashed another possible Derby contender in brilliant filly Silent Achiever.
Making just her fifth race day appearance, Silent Achiever lowered the colours of boom Matamata colt Ocean Park when winning the Waikato Guineas.
The O’Reilly filly, ridden by James McDonald, produced a devastating turn of foot to out finish Ocean Park over 2000m.
The victory followed a similarly impressive win at Ellerslie at her previous start.
“I’ve always rated her and although some people thought Ocean Park was unbeatable, I certainly didn’t think so” said James after her Te Rapa win.
Given time to settle by McDonald, Silent Achiever looked to be under pressure with 600m to go.
“We were following Ocean Park and when the pace went on she was a little flat footed” said McDonald later.
Electing to ride for luck, McDonald decided to continue to follow Ocean Park as it poked through an inch gap with 300m to run.
“I could see Chad (Ormsby, rider of Ocean Park) going for the gap and I just followed him through” said McDonald.
Just when it looked as though Ocean Park would stride to victory, Silent Achiever produced her finishing burst which quickly saw her dash past the favourite.
“She’s won really well…….she’s very very smart” said McDonald.
Predictably, the TAB bookies reacted to the win by making Silent Achiever equal 4-1 favourite for the NZ Derby next month with Ocean Park.
However, Roger James is still undecided whether to run his filly.
“We didn’t nominate her for the Derby, but we have the option of a late nomination” explained James.
Silent Achiever is owned by her breeder Kevin Hickman, and James has her ear marked for an Australian campaign.
“The Vinery Stakes looks a lovely race for her and there’s always the option of going on to the AJC Oaks, so there is a lot to consider” said James.
James won’t be drawn on making a quick decision.
“We have until February 28 to make a decison, so we’ve got a bit of time” he said.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how Six O’Clock News got the last laugh on a certain race caller.
Winless for nearly three years, the hardy campaigner bounced back to winning form at Trentham, winning the Wellington Cup.
Lesson learnt…..never “bag” racehorses because they will make you look decidely foolish.
Another thing you must never do in this game, is start comparing horses with former racing stars.
It just ain’t worth it!
Last week I nearly spilt my lemonade when reading an article about Ocean Park.
The article mentioned Ocean Park was being compared in some quarters to former Cambridge trained super star Balmerino.
Balmerino was trained by Brian Smith and he forged a wonderful career on the race track, both here in NZ and overseas.
Balmerino was a freakish galloper as tough as they come.
With due respect to all the NZ Derby winners since Balmerino won the race in 1975, I’m struggling to think of one that I would rate in his class.
The possible exception, the mighty Bonecrusher.
I remember thinking when reading the article, what a ridiculous comparison to make.
And yep…… the racing gods ruled again…….. Ocean Park got beaten!
As I said before , it just ain’t worth it!
I’ll catch you next week.