Beau Mertens will be out to maintain a perfect record on sprinting mare Snitty Kitty in the W J Adams Stakes.
Mertens has ridden the Henry Dwyer-trained Snitty Kitty twice for as many wins, including the Group Two Caulfield Sprint last spring at the mare’s most recent start.
Snitty Kitty’s Caulfield Sprint win is one of two Group Two victories for Mertens so far in his career and he is still chasing his first Group One success.
The mare is the even-money favourite for Saturday’s Listed W J Adams Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield in which the four-year-old will be out to stamp her claims as a leading contender for the Group One Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at the same track three weeks later.
“She has trialled well heading into this race and knowing her, I think she can keep stepping up to the plate and will be running well for sure,” Mertens said.
Snitty Kitty finished second in a star-studded Caulfield jump-out last week with Tom Sadler aboard and Mertens was pleased with what he saw.
“She jumped out really well and went to the line under a hold,” he said.
“It looked really impressive and Henry is really happy with her from what he’s telling me.”
Snitty Kitty has continued to improve during her career and has won six of her 11 starts including five from seven in the past year.
Her two-start campaign last spring began with a 1-3/4 length win over 1100m with 60kg in a benchmark race before a 2-1/4 length win in the Caulfield Sprint (1000m) with 53kg.
“I won on her when I was still a claiming apprentice (last April) and she won well that day,” Mertens said.
“She has kept progressing on from that and put a few more wins together.
“Her Caulfield Sprint win was pretty impressive. She shows a lot of pace and a lot of guts.
“So heading into this race I think she’s going to go well and then she’s off to the Oakleigh Plate.”
The Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained Crystal Dreamer is second favourite at $4.80, having won his past two starts.
Crystal Dreamer’s younger half-brother Crystal Spirit is also scheduled to contest a stakes race on Saturday, the Group Three Manfred Stakes.