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Flying Achilles’ trainer Gerald Ryan says a Group One tilt is on the horizon for his young colt after a maiden win at Warwick Farm.

Flying Achilles, a $10 chance in the McGrath Estate Agents Handicap, produced a late surge in Wednesday’s 1400m event to pip the Chris Waller-trained Astro Sun by a nose.

Odds-on favourite Montauk ($1.55) was trapped behind horses in the straight before making late ground to finish fifth.

Ryan said the Spring Stakes at Newcastle would be next on the cards for Flying Achilles whose ultimate goal was a spot in the $500,000 Spring Champion Stakes on October 10 at Randwick.

“As you can see he’s a gross horse and he’s going to take a lot of benefit out of today’s run,” Ryan said.

“He’s a big horse and he’s starting to learn what it’s all about.

“So we’ll just keep stepping up the journey now.

“If he does well he’ll probably go to the mile in the Spring Stakes.”

As usual, Waller came into Wednesday’s meeting with a number of clear favourites and managed a pair of victories despite Astro Sun’s narrow defeat.

Vanbrugh lived up to his favourite’s tag to streak home in the All Too Hard @ Vinery Handicap, while Pioneering scored a narrow win in the Tab Rewards Handicap.

Waller said Pioneering’s veteran jockey Jim Cassidy deserved all the plaudits.

“He just gives these young horses, who are six months away from being a mature horse, that confidence,” Waller said.

“When you get someone like Jim Cassidy with that experience, it takes the pressure away from the trainer.”

Cassidy wasn’t the only jockey to do himself proud on Wednesday with Kerrin McEvoy and Blake Shinn both riding doubles.

McEvoy won on Flying Achilles and Peter Moody’s Amelie’s Star while Shinn claimed race-to-race victories on the Snowden-trained Denpurr and Vanburgh.

 
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