A wining double to the Chris Waller stable has edged Sydney’s premier trainer closer to a record-breaking season.
Waller’s wins at Warwick Farm with Firebird Flyer and Wutai Mountain on Wednesday have taken him to 158 wins with nine meetings remaining for 2015/16.
He needs 9.5 wins to pass the standard he set in 2013/14 as he heads to his sixth Sydney title.
Firebird Flyer, who came to Waller from New Zealand as a six-start maiden, ended a frustrating four-run sequence of second placings for her new trainer.
A $3 chance in Wednesday’s TAB Rewards Plate (1600m) got the nod by a head over $2.40 favourite Kingsguard.
“It’s good to get the win,” Waller said.
“She has a good constitution and looks as well as she did when she started with us and it was a nice ride by Tim Clark.
The filly’s previous trainer Jeff Lynds had a high enough opinion of Firebird Flyer to run her in the NZ Oaks but she failed to get a clear run and finished 10th of the 16 runners.
Wutai Mountain also broke her maiden when she won the following race over 1300 metres at her seventh start.
Ridden by Waller’s former apprentice Rory Hutchings, Wutai Mountain ($3.80) had a long neck to spare on Diamond Meteor ($8).
Hutchings ended his apprenticeship on June 14 on 33 wins for the season as a junior rider, with his nearest rival Koby Jennings still 13 behind.
Hutchings has ridden another four winners in the past two weeks to move into the top 10 on the Sydney jockeys’ ladder.
Waller said Wutai Mountain was typical of the progeny of her sire Commands.
“The Commands breed take time and she is the type who will be better as a four-year-old,” he said.