A full book of rides in the eight event Ladbrokes Park Hillside program at Sandown today gives Craig Williams the edge of rival Beau Mertens in the Melbourne Jockey’s Premiership race.
Mertens could only scrape together five rides and will head into the second last day of the 2016 – 2017 racing season two wins behind Williams on seventy-two with Saturday’s nine race program at Caulfield the last metropolitan meeting for the season.
Williams is chasing his sixth premiership win while Mertens, still riding as an apprentice but without a claim, is trying to win his first senior’s title.
Williams kicks off the day in the first race on the Ladbrokes.com.au $3.20 favourite Tan Tan Trusting from the Darren Weir stable while Mertens won’t get into action until race two on the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained first starter Wassergeist who is well in the betting at $4.20 while Williams rides the favourite Perugia, a last start winner form the Weir stable again.
The two jockeys will then go head to head in the next three races with Williams on It’s A Shame Billy (R3 $6.50), Accelerato (R4 $6) and High Lago (R5 $5.50) while Mertens rides Purrpussful (R3 $16), Eat Dessert First (R4 $4.20) and Diamond Grace (R5 $6.50).
Williams will then have a free throw in Race 7 on $5 chance Plus Effronte before the two hoops line up again against each other in Race 7 with Williams on the $3.90 favourite Precious Journey while Mertens is aboard the Bevan Laming trained Citrus Wish who is well in the betting at $7.50.
The final race on the eight event card will see Williams have a free run home on the well fancied Robert Smerdon trained Sacred Theme.