Beau Mertens wants a senior role

Jockey Beau Mertens on Schism
Beau Mertens wants to lose the ‘a’ next to his name and ride as a senior jockey.

Leading Melbourne apprentice Beau Mertens fears the ‘a’ next to his name may hold him back from important rides ahead of the spring.

Having recently outridden his claim, Mertens is ready to lodge paperwork he hopes will mean he can ride as a senior in the new season.

Mertens, who turned 20 on Saturday, is locked in a battle with Craig Williams for Melbourne jockeys’ premiership honours.

He currently trails Williams by two winners with 17 city races remaining this season.

While his apprenticeship is not due to finish until next June, Mertens hopes to become a senior rider early in the new season.

“I’ll have to speak to the apprentice coaches, get their feedback, but hopefully they’ll approve it,” Mertens said.

“A few of the other boys have done it and owners are a bit more trustworthy of you if you don’t have the ‘a’ beside your name.

“If you’re an established senior they have a bit more trust in you.

“I’ve been losing a few rides on the higher weighted horses of late so if I’m a senior hopefully I get a few of those rides.

“If I keep working hard I’m sure the rides will come.”

Mertens says if he finishes his apprenticeship early he doesn’t expect it to alter his work ethic.

He currently rides trackwork at Cranbourne on Monday, Cranbourne or Caulfield on Tuesday and Wednesday at Cranbourne.

On Thursday he’s prepared to travel to Lindsay Park’s Euroa base or to Ballarat for trials with Darren Weir while Friday mornings are spent at Flemington for trackwork and jump-outs.

While Mertens may be young, he has an experienced head on his shoulders.

He has been working in Mick Kent’s Cranbourne stables since the age of 13 and knows when he’s finished his apprenticeship there will be substantial money to handle.

“It’s a lot of money to hand over to a young kid but I’m not that stupid with my money,” Mertens said.

“I want to buy another house soon so hopefully it’s not too much of a drama.

“Mum and Dad both have a bit of control over that and push me down the right path.”

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