James To Delay Australian Cup Decision

A decision on whether kiwi mare Silent Achiever takes her place in the Group 1 Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8 won’t be made until the week of the race.

Trainer Roger James said he was weighing up between a start in either the Australian Cup or the $200,000 (NZ) Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on the same day.

“She’ll gallop at the Karaka Millions in between races and the she’ll resume over 1500 metres here in New Zealand on February 15,” James said.

“It will depend on the strength of the two races as to where we line up.

“We’re going to have the privilege of being able to compare both races before we make a decision.

“We can make the decision as early as the week of the race because I can get her over (to Australia) on the Wednesday (March 5).”

The O’Reilly mare finished 8th behind Fawkner in the BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) in the Spring, and James said the five-year-old was an ever better horse at this time of the year than in the Spring.

“She’s in grand order,” he said.

“She was very badly galloped on in the Caulfield Cup and we paid the price three days out from the Melbourne Cup when we took the stitches out because she just failed to get there unfortunately.

“She’s a much better autumn mare, she’s really matured and I’m very happy with her.”

Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente is the $3.50 favourite in the early Australian Cup betting with Silent Achiever a $12 chance.

– NZ Racing Desk



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