Stakes-winning sprinter Thermal Current has bounced back from a first-up failure to give apprentice Beau Mertens his first Flemington double.
Thermal Current beat one runner home in the Group Three Standish Handicap first-up on January 1, but returned to winning form in Saturday’s Arbroath Handicap, dropping from 1200m to 1000m, to make it four wins from eight second-up attempts.
It also gave Mertens his second winner on the program.
Both of Mertens’ wins came for Victoria’s premier trainer Darren Weir who has already trained more than 200 winners nationwide this season, with that milestone brought up at Cranbourne on Friday night.
Mertens had earlier steered $2.80 favourite Honey Cara to a three-quarters of a length win in the Seascay Handicap (2000m).
“I’ve had a Saturday double at Caulfield but this is a lot better, it’s at Flemington,” Mertens said.
“And I’m pleased to be getting the opportunities off Darren Weir, that’s the main thing.”
Mertens is apprenticed to Mick Kent at Cranbourne and is the son of Group One-winning jockey Peter Mertens, who has retired from the saddle.
Thermal Current ($19) settled off the pace before sprinting quickly after angling into the clear between runners inside the 300m mark.
He defeated Bullpit by 1-1/4 lengths with Super Fun a head away third.
“I was very happy with the tempo and he relaxed nicely out the back where he was,” Mertens said.
“Darren said to make his last 200 metres his best. I waited for as long as I could and once we got the split he picked up quite nicely and hit the line.”