Roger James has been adamant Silent Achiever was going better than her spring form suggested and the mare didn’t let him down with a gallant Cox Plate placing.
With Hong Kong-based Nash Rawiller back in the saddle for the first time since the autumn, the New Zealand mare bounced back from three unplaced spring runs to be beaten less than a half length when third to Adelaide and Fawkner.
Rawiller rode the mare to two Sydney weight-for-age wins earlier this year.
Silent Achiever was having just her second start at Moonee Valley, where she won the Crystal Mile in 2012 and was James’ first Cox Plate runner.
The mare found a midfield position after jumping from wide and kept fighting in the straight to be narrowly denied.
“I knew fitness wouldn’t beat her,” James said.
“She was beaten by two better horses, probably.
“I thought it was a peach of a ride from barrier 11 and she gave her heart. I’m very proud of her.”
No decision has been made about Silent Achiever running in the Melbourne Cup.
James said Silent Achiever would have to defy enormous statistics in the Melbourne Cup with 56.5kg, given Makybe Diva is the only mare to have carried more weight to win the race.