"Beau Mertens put himself on the map when he rode Snitty Kitty to victory in the G2 Caulfield Sprint in Spring and by doing so, set a new race record."
Victoria's reigning champion apprentice, Beau Mertens only narrowly went down last season in the overall Victorian jockeys' premiership, after going head to head with Craig Williams in the final weeks of the season. The young hoop is one of racing's bright stars and is on the hunt this Festival of Racing for his maiden Group 1 victory in the saddle.
He of course is trying to follow in the footsteps of his father Peter in that aspect, as Mertens Snr won several Group 1s - with some of his finest contemporary successes coming on Sirmione (Australian Cup, Mackinnon Stakes) for legendary trainer Bart Cummings, and South Australian Oaks successes on Invest and She's Archie.
Mertens Jnr only recently embarked on his senior jockey career - that means losing apprenticeship status, and any potential weight claims he could make in certain races. While that can be a challenging period for most jockeys, he has the tenacity and results on the board to overcome adversity.
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At the age of 44, Dwayne Dunn has shown no signs of slowing down, having won 23 Group 1 races. He's regarded as one of the safest hands in racing.
After winning the G1 Myer Classic at Flemington in spring, Shoals will line up in the G3 Kevin Hayes Stakes at Caulfield on February 10.
A family trio, David Hayes' status in racing is legendary, however in recent years has partnered with nephew Tom Dabernig and recently son Ben.