Melbourne Metro Premiership Will be a Photo Finish
Sydney is not the only city with a tight race on for a jockey’s premiership.
Further south, in the fine city of Melbourne, the race for the Melbourne Jockeys’ premiership is a close contest (dare we say two-horse race?) between Beau Mertens and Craig Williams. Number three on the list, Dwayne Dunn, is well back and not even a miracle could take him to the head of the pack.
Williams is making a spurt as the 2016 – 2017 Australian thoroughbred racing season is coming to the close. He had to deal with a two meeting city suspension, which gave Mertens an opening, an opening he promptly exploited with a treble at Flemington Saturday past.
More recently, though, Mertens went blank at Sandown at the same time that Williams won a pair.
The tally, provided our count is accurate, shows that Mertens has 71 wins to Williams’ 69. There are five meetings left.
Williams came within half a length of taking a third win when he could not get $2.10 favourite Yogi across first in the Ladbrokes Challenge BM 78 Handicap. Then, in the last race of the day, his $1.90 favourite Galaxy Raider could not finish the job and ran second in the Cove Benchmark FM 78 Handicap. Two wins would have left the premiership in a dead heat.
Dwayne Dunn did have three wins at Sandown, but it is highly doubtful that he can catch either Williams or Mertens.
At just 19 years of age, Mertens is showing every indication of following in the footsteps of his Group 1 winning dad, Peter. Beau is still an apprentice at this point, having taken his first ride in September of 2014 following a year of working in the stables of Mick Kent.
Williams holds a better than two-to-one advantage in prize money, His winnings this season, in fact, are slightly above what Mertens has earned for his brief career.