In-form apprentice Beau Mertens has continued his run of success with victory in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Rush at Bendigo on the lightly raced Speed Street.
Mertens is having a breakout season to be sitting second in the overall jockeys’ metropolitan premiership in Victoria and he has added to his season tally with his win in the richest race on Saturday’s Golden Mile program.
Mertens has been called on to ride a number of horses for the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable recently, with Speed Street’s tough win the apprentice’s fourth winner from nine rides.
Speed Street who was $3.80 at Luxbet, in his second start, had to work in the first half of the race to cross to the lead on the fence and then he held on over the concluding stages to beat Je Suis Tycoon ($13) by half a neck, with three-quarters of a length to Pure Scot ($8) in third.
“We had to do a bit of work to get across to the fence and I thought he did a good job,” Mertens said.
“To his credit he had to be really tough to fight that out and he was.”
Mertens said back-to-back city wins on Cassadee recently started the association with the Waterhouse stable.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work for her now at Flemington and she’s really repaying me with some nice rides,” he said.
Mertens said his riding style suited the Waterhouse-trained horses, which often raced on the speed.
“I think it’s a nice little partnership we have and hopefully we can keep it going,” he said.
Trainer Henry Dwyer won last year’s Gold Rush, restricted to two-year-olds nominated to the VOBIS Gold race series, with If Not Now When but had to settle for second with debutante Je Suis Tycoon this time.