Mertens faces uphill premiership battle

Beau Mertens
Beau Mertens is three wins short of Craig Williams for the Victorian Jockeys’ Premiership with one day to go. Photo:

Apprentice Beau Mertens will be riding the final metropolitan meeting of the season at Caulfield without any extra weight on his shoulders.

Three winners down on leader Craig Williams in the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership, Mertens will let Saturday unfold and see if he can reel in Williams.

Having already produced an outstanding season with 73 city winners, Mertens hasn’t conceded the premiership but knows he faces an uphill battle.

“I’m not giving up yet and we’ll see how I go on Saturday,” Mertens said.

Both jockeys have solid books with Williams riding in all nine races and Mertens in eight.

Williams looks to have the stronger book with seven of his mounts assessed in single figure odds by bookmakers compared to Mertens with two.

One of Mertens better rides is Supido in the day’s feature, the Group Three Bletchingly Stakes, for which the Mick Kent-trained sprinter is the $3.60 favourite.

Victory in the weight-for-age sprint would give Mertens his first win at Group level to go with his three Listed successes.

Williams may not be aboard any favourites but rides Wayanka who has been one of the best supported in pre-post betting on Saturday’s program firming from $6.50 to $5 in the Sheamus Mills Bloodstock Handicap.

Williams v Mertens at Caulfield (Prices on Friday)

Race 1

Williams: Divine Chills (Trainer John Sadler) $3.90

Mertens: Sahara Chill (Kane Harris) $18

Race 2

Williams: Charlevoix (Hayes & Dabernig) $3.40

Race 3

Williams: Shamport (Darren Weir) $8

Mertens: Evolutionist (Robbie Griffiths) $31

Race 4

Williams: Charlie Garcon (Robbie Griffiths) $13

Mertens: Tango Rock (Mick Kent) $11

Race 5

Williams: Windbern (Mick Price) $8

Mertens: Seattle Park (Mick Kent) $8

Race 6

Williams: Rather Silky (Mick Kent) $14

Mertens: Sweet Perfume (Clinton McDonald) $11

Race 7

Williams: Wayanka (Chris Waller) $5

Mertens: Tres (Ellerton & Zahra) $26

Race 8

Williams: Ability (Robert Smerdon) $7.50

Mertens: Supido (Mick Kent) $3.60f

Race 9

Williams: Cosmic Lights (Peter Morgan) $4.60

Mertens: Scapa Cove (Clinton McDonald) $31

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