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April 6, 2014

Without question the best racehorse currently in training in New Zealand, Silent Achiever (NZ) (O’Reilly) has again stamped her authority on Australian racing, yesterday completing Rosehill’s Ranvet Stakes / BMW weight-for-age double.

Two weeks ago in the 2000 metre Ranvet, Silent Achiever was a narrow winner over Carlton House (Street Cry) and It’s A Dundeel (NZ) (High Chaparral). Yesterday, over 2400 metres, she beat It’s A Dundeel by 1¾ lengths with Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente (Monsun) an improved third, another short neck away.

Although punters came late for Fiorente, backing him in from $3.80 to $3.50 favouritism, Silent Achiever was always solid in the market, moving in from a best price of $4 to start at $3.80.

“These are the best she is racing against and she has beaten them for the second time,” trainer Roger James said.

Then, in a reference to her narrow defeat by Fiveandahalfstar in last year’s BMW, he added, “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.

It was a special win for Rawiller, who was dumped for Damien Oliver as the rider of Fiorente last year prior to the Melbourne Cup. Rawiller could sense Fiorente to his inside in the straight but knew his mare was ready for the fight. “The race ended up being nicely run for us. I was a little concerned going past the winning post that she was a bit keen but she got into her stride and I popped off the fence down past the 1500 metres and she was just in a comfortable rhythm from there on,” he said.

“I spotted Fiorente coming through but what gave me confidence was he was hard under pressure. I made sure I left something in the tank for a fight and she responded very well when I asked her.”

James and owner Kevin Hickman now have to make a decision on whether Silent Achiever heads to the A$4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2000 metres in two weeks or steps up to 3200 metres in the A$1 million Sydney Cup.  “That’s a decision we will leave until the eleventh hour,”  James said. “That’s the good thing about having options. We will assess where everyone else is going, see how she comes through the race and then make the right decision, hopefully.”

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.  

Story from NZTM (AAP Turf and TVN)