Star apprentice Beau Mertens has brought up a milestone as he continues his push for the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership.
Mertens guided the Ciaron Maher-trained Schism to victory in Saturday’s Leilani Series Final at Flemington to bring up his 100th win for the season.
Of those 100 wins, 69 have been metropolitan victories and he leads the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership.
Mertens started Saturday one win ahead of Craig Williams in the title race with Williams sitting out the Flemington meeting through a careless riding suspension.
Schism went into the Leilani Final off a last-start Flemington win and Mertens was confident the mare would produce again, which she did.
After getting a good trail behind the leaders on Schism, the $3 favourite, Mertens angled her out rounding the home turn.
When Mertens asked the mare for her effort she hit the front and held a one-length advantage over runner-up Vital Importance ($26) on the line with Ninimypiminy ($15) another head away third.
“She gave me that good a feel the last time I won on her that I was pretty confident she could do the same again,” Mertens said.
“She’s a pretty happy horse when she’s here.
“She wanted to pull a bit harder this time than last start so I was inclined to let her cruise into it a bit earlier. And when I let her off the bridle she really sprinted nicely.”
Maher said the way Schism was going the plan would likely be to have a crack at some early spring black-type mares’ races.