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Leading apprentice Beau Mertens will be the new rider for pre-race favourite Supido in the Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Jockey Beau Mertens will ride Supido, above, in the Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Jockey Beau Mertens will ride Supido, above, in the Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Mertens has been in a titanic battle with senior jockey Craig Williams for the Melbourne Jockey’s Premiership Title and will go into the final metropolitan race day of the 2016 – 2017 racing season on Saturday three wins behind the five times title winner on seventy-three metropolitan winners for the season.

While Mertens is facing a tough takes to peg Williams back, he would dearly love to win the Bletchingly Stakes on Supido for his boss Mick Kent.

“He’s obviously a good ride and he’s in good order,” Mertens told AAP.

“So I certainly can’t complain about picking up the ride.

“I rode him in two of his trials before the Monash and he won both of them and he went quite well for me. Mick has got the confidence to put me on on race day, which is good.”

The Group 1 placed Supido resumed from a spell for a win for Luke Nolen in the Group 3 $150,000 PFD Food Services Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on July 15.

Mertens replaces Nolen who is having some some off for a winter holiday.

“It’s a very strong race and a few others are going very well,” Mertens said.

“But he’s got the ability so hopefully he can do something for me.”

Supido has eased slightly in early betting for the Bletchingly Stakes but remains the favourite at $3.60 at Ladbrokes.com.au and Mertens should be able to give the five year old every chance from barrier five in the thirteen horse field.

“It’s a very strong race and a few others are going very well,” Mertens said.

“But he’s got the ability so hopefully he can do something for me.”

Supido is the winner of seven of his thirteen starts and while he is yet to win at Group 1 level, has recorded one placing in the top grade when third behind Black Heart Bart and Under The Louvre in the 2016 Group 1 $500,000 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville.

Five times Group 1 winner Lankan Rupee is resuming from a long spell and has put a lot of interest into the Bletchingly Stakes, the last Group race of the 2016 – 2017 racing season.

The Mick Price trained Lankan Rupee has been kept safe in the betting at $4.40 on Thursday and the one time top rated sprinter has drawn awkwardly at barrier nine with regular rider Craig Newitt in the saddle again.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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