Gerald Ryan was tipping Aviator long before the colt made a winning debut at Rosehill.
“I told the owners a month ago he would win this race first-up,” Ryan said.
Aviator, unwanted in betting as a $10 chance despite Ryan’s confidence, drifted back in the Graeme Ferris Maiden Handicap before unwinding with a wide run to beat Ocean City ($51) by a half length on Wednesday.
Owned by a syndicate that includes Vinery Stud and Black Caviar’s part-owner Neil Werrett, the Snitzel colt is a half-brother to veteran stakes performer Monton.
It’s this family connection that Ryan expects to work in Aviator’s favour.
“I used to see Monton when he was trained here (at Rosehill) as a two-year-old and he’s very much like him as a young horse and he ended up growing into a big horse,” Ryan said.
“He’s got the frame and he needs to body up but I’ve always had a bit of time for him.”
Ryan said there would be more suitable autumn carnival targets for Aviator than the Golden Slipper.
“He’s no Slipper horse but if you kept going with him he could make the Sires’ or Champagne over 1400 and 1600 metres,” he said.