James Innes is putting in his bid for Sydney’s apprentices’ premiership with the in-form hoop rocketing to the top of the tree.
Innes went to the equal lead with a double at Rosehill on Saturday and has nine metropolitan wins, along with Deanne Panya.
The 21-year-old got Girl Sunday home for his master Gerald Ryan and the Chris Waller-trained Hogmanay, making it back-to-back wins on both horses.
“It’s easy when you’re riding winners, you just build up that confidence,” Innes said.
“It makes the rest of the day easier when you get that first win out of the way.”
Ryan’s son and foreman Blake said Innes had made a significant improvement in the past six months, with his growing patience a key element of his success.
“He was wanting to get things done yesterday,” Blake Ryan said.
“The best thing about him is if he does do something wrong he’ll cop a pay for it and learn from it.
“He rides really good work, his attitude’s great and it’s happening for him raceday so I couldn’t be happier for him.”
While he has previously had his issues with overuse of the whip, the two-kilogram claiming rider’s strong form has coincided with less frequent trips to the stewards’ room.
Innes joined Ryan’s stable earlier in the year and has struck up a successful collaboration with Girl Sunday.
“He’s doing the right thing by the mare and the mare is doing the right thing by all of us so it’s really satisfying,” Blake Ryan said.
“It’s going great.”
Waller also had praise for Innes, scoring his two winning rides 10 out of 10.
“You don’t end up in that perfect position by fluke and then expect the horse to run for you, it doesn’t work like that,” Waller said.
“He’s got them travelling.”
Innes said he had had five or six rides for Sydney’s premier stable for three winners.