Senior jockey Craig Williams and apprentice Beau Mertens will be trying to gain an advantage in the Melbourne Jockey’s Premiership race when they head to Flemington on Saturday level pegging.
Both riders are on seventy-two wins for the 2016 – 2017 racing season and with only three metropolitan race meetings remaining for the season, which includes Saturday’s Flemington nine event card, the battle for the number one jockey is hotting up considerably.
Mertens failed to find the winner’s stall at Ladbrokes Park at Sandown on Wednesday with five seconds and two thirds from seven rides while Williams was able to leave the course on equal terms after collecting one win for the day on the John Sadler trained Brahmos in the BenchMark 64 Handicap (1300m).
“I can’t complain,” Mertens told AAP.
“Seven placings is better than seven lasts.
“All my horses ran well and hopefully next start I can get back on them and win.
“It was a super pay day but it doesn’t help the scoreboard at all as placings aren’t really a key factor this close to the finish of the season.
“We can go into Saturday with a clear mind knowing that I’m riding well.”
Williams looks to have the early advantage at Flemington with eight mounts on the nine event program while Mertens could only muster up six rides.
Craig Williams and Beau Mertens head to head with betting markets from Ladbrokes.com.au as of Thursday afternoon.
Race 1 – Williams, No 5 Gervais ($4.20) _ ————–
Race 2 – ——— _ ————–
Race 3 – Williams , No 4 Anchor Bid ($1.55) _ Mertens, No 3 St Vaduz ($6.50)
Race 4 – Williams, No 8 Portman ($3) _ ————–
Race 5 – Williams, No 11 Balcazar ($5.50) _ Mertens, No 10 St Franco ($11)
Race 6 – Williams, No 8 Divine Mr Artie ($4.80) _ Mertens, No 7 Smackdown ($26)
Race 7 – Williams, No 5 Magic Consol ($5.50) _ Mertens, No 4 Kilimanjaro ($3.30)
Race 8 – Williams, No 1 Moonlites Choice ($3.20) _ Mertens, No 11 Good Oh ($18)
Race 9 – Williams, No 4 Knowable ($4.80) _ Mertens, No 2 Highland Beat ($6.50)
Ladbrokes.com.au have Williams as the favourite at $1.70 to win his sixth Melbourne Jockey’s Premiership title while Mertens is now marked at $2.20.