Silent Achiever on trial for Derby in Waikato Guineas Mon, 30 Jan 2012
Highly rated staying filly Silent Achiever will be on trial for the Telecom New Zealand Derby when she starts in the H S Dyke Waikato Guineas at Te Rapa on Saturday.
The O’Reilly filly looked every bit a Derby contendor when she won the Gr. 2 Championship Stakes over 2100 metres at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, but at this stage she is not among the entries for the March 3 classic.
After working back from Silent Achiever’s major autumn target, the Australian Oaks in late April, trainer Roger James sees the Derby seven weeks earlier as a manageable programme addition.
“At this stage we’re keeping that option,” the Cambridge trainer said. “If she was to maintain her Ellerslie form we’d have to give the race serious consideration.
“To get her to Sydney in the right order I wouldn’t want to have to put a trip into her beforehand,” he explained in reference to his reluctance to send her to Trentham for the New Zealand Oaks in mid-March. “That’s one very good reason why the Derby is being considered instead.”
An additional twist is the booking of James McDonald for Saturday’s 2000-metre feature, that necessitated by the thumb injury suffered by the filly’s regular rider Vinnie Colgan in his Telegraph Handicap fall. At yesterday’s Ellerslie twilight meeting McDonald rode prominent Derby candidate Knight’s Tour to a repeat of his Great Northern Guineas win, but it is believed that at this point no decision has been made as to his Derby ride.
Late entries for the New Zealand Derby at $22,500 close on February 28.
Meanwhile, Silent Achiever’s stablemate He’s Remarkable is scheduled to have his first training gallop since returning from a spell at the Cambridge track tomorrow morning. Still getting over the shock of the dismissal last week of the application to appeal the controversial Railway Stakes relegation, James is consoling himself with the progress He’s Remarkable has made lately.
“I couldn’t be happier with him, he’s absolutely thriving,” he said. “The plan is to take him to Australia - probably without a trial – in a month or so and start him fresh-up in the Newmarket Handicap at Broadmeadow (Newcastle) in early March.
“That’s 1400 metres, then he steps up to 1500 in the George Ryder at Rosehill and then the Doncaster at a mile.”
James is also considering a brief Queensland winter campaign for the Pentire colt, with his options either the Doomben Cup at a middle-distance or the 1400-metre Stradbroke Handicap.