Proving her Ranvet Stakes win was no fluke, New Zealand mare Silent Achiever has again stamped her authority on Australia’s best weight-for-age performers, this time in the BMW at Rosehill.
Last time out in the Ranvet over 2000m, Silent Achiever was a narrow winner over Carlton House and It’s A Dundeel.
On Saturday over 2400m, she beat It’s A Dundeel by 1-3/4 lengths with Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente an improved third another short neck away.
Punters came late for Fiorente, backing him in from $3.80 to $3.50 favouritism while keeping Silent Achiever close at $3.80.
“These are the best she is racing against and she has beaten them for the second time,” trainer Roger James said.
“And you’d have to say this was a much stronger field than she met in this race last year.”
The other big difference in Silent Achiever this autumn is the addition of blinkers, which have helped her to four wins from four starts, three at Group One level.
“I toyed with putting them on before, but she was racing well without them,” James said.
“Then Vinnie Colgan said to me after she won the New Zealand Stakes that she had pulled a bit, so I wondered if I had done the right thing.
“But after she won the Ranvet I left them on.”
Jockey Nash Rawiller agreed it had been the right move.
“She is a horse who has been a bridesmaid over here, but she is getting better and better with the blinkers on,” he said.
James and her owners now have to make a decision on whether Silent Achiever heads to the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in two weeks or steps up to 3200m in the $1 million Sydney Cup.
“That’s a decision we will leave until the eleventh hour,” he said.
“That’s the good thing about having options.”
It’s A Dundeel had been under scrutiny in the past few days when it was revealed he had been working in bar plates.
He wore standard plates in the BMW and showed a glimpse of the form which has earned him five Group One wins and made him the headline horse in advertising campaigns for The Championships.
“He had been half a run behind, but he got going again late today and is ready for a strong 2000 metres in the Queen Elizabeth,” managing owner John Messara said.
Fiorente has come in for heavy support for the Sydney Cup over the past two days, but trainer Gai Waterhouse said she would, as usual, wait for the dust to settle before making a decision on the Cup or the Queen Elizabeth.