Mertens gets two-day licence

Australian will beef up the shortage of expatriate jockeys due to suspensions

Australian jockey Beau Mertens has been granted a short-term visiting jockeys' licence by the Singapore Turf Club (STC) to ride at the Kranji meetings next Friday and Sunday.

In line with the STC's proactive policy to maintain a competitive racing standard at all times, Mertens will be a welcome addition to the Singapore riding ranks with the current shortage of senior expatriate jockeys due to suspension.

Among those suspended are Alan Munro, Daniel Moor, Barend Vorster, Craig Grylls and Marc Lerner.

Top Malaysian rider Benny Woodworth, who was one-third of Team Asia, who competed against three other teams in the Premier Gateway International Jockeys Challenge on Tuesday, has copped another two Singapore race days for careless riding on Southern Spur at Tuesday night's meeting.

His suspension will be served consecutively, following the completion of his earlier suspension of four Singapore race days over his handling of Clarton Super in the $1 million Group 1 Raffles Cup on Sunday.

Currently licensed by Racing Victoria, Mertens, 21, is the son of former Melbourne jockey Peter Mertens, and has up to now ridden in excess of 250 winners in four years.

His winners include two at Group 2 level last year, Showtime in the Stutt Stakes and Snitty Kitty in the Caulfield Sprint, and eight at Group 3 and Listed level.

Australian jockey Beau Mertens. PHOTO: STC

While still an apprentice jockey, when then indentured to former Kranji-based trainer Mick Kent, Mertens led the 2016/2017 Melbourne senior jockey's premiership for a long time.

But he was caught late by multiple-champion jockey Craig Williams. He did, however, claim the champion apprentice jockey title.

Mertens goes to scale at 53kg.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2018, with the headline 'Mertens gets two-day licence'. Subscribe