Patrick Moloney took another step towards his goal of winning his first apprentices' premiership with a victory at Sandown on Wednesday.
Moloney's success aboard Stingray in the Equiano-King Of Speed Handicap (900m) took him to 18 city wins in Melbourne this season as he sets his sights on the junior riders' title.
His chances of winning the apprentices' premiership have been enhanced with reigning titleholder Chad Schofield elevated to senior jockey status last week.
Moloney, who will have his first Group One ride aboard Magnus Reign in Saturday's Oakleigh Plate, started the Sandown meeting level with Katelyn Mallyon in the standings.
Stingray's win edged him into the lead and that's where he hopes to stay.
"That's my aim and it's what me and my manager have set our sights on," Moloney said of the apprentices' premiership.
"And especially now with Chad out of the way as a senior jockey."
Stingray took race experience into Wednesday's event and after settling in behind the speed, Moloney angled the youngster into the clear and he sprinted quickly to win by a length.
"He's starting to really switch on as a two-year-old," Moloney said.
"And the more he races the better he'll get too."
The 20-year-old says he is thrilled with the opportunity to partner outsider Magnus Reign for trainer Rick Hore-Lacy in Saturday's Oakleigh Plate.
"I'm really excited," he said.
"I wouldn't have even thought I would be riding in big city meetings like that and have a Group One ride so quickly.
"I'm really grateful to Rick Hore-Lacy who has been a good supporter of mine.
"He's drawn barrier 17 and might be scratched but hopefully not."
While Moloney is looking to his maiden Group One ride in the Oakleigh Plate, a relative of an Oakleigh Plate runner notched its first city win in a 1000m benchmark race for three-year-olds on Wednesday.
The Byron Cozamanis-trained Tansy, a half-brother and stablemate to Oakleigh Plate entrant Vatican, fought on bravely in the straight to win by a half-head.
The gelding had scored by seven lengths at Stony Creek leading into his city debut.
The Sandown meeting was the first at the track in six months after the course proper was completely renovated.