An early Caulfield winner has moved apprentice Beau Mertens into the equal lead in the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership.
Mertens guided Shaf to a last-stride victory in Saturday’s Arvanitis Philanthropy Plate (1100m) to take his season tally in Melbourne to 57 wins.
It moves him level with Craig Williams, the reigning premier jockey, who is riding in Adelaide.
Shaf raced three wide with cover before setting out after Sunday Escape in who kicked clear early in the straight.
Five-year-old Shaf arrived in time to grab Sunday Escape and win by a half- ead, his fifth victory from eight attempts over 1100m.
Mertens is striving to become the first apprentice since Nicholas Ryan in 2004-05 to win a Melbourne jockeys’ premiership, with the season running until the end of July.