Beau Mertens is hopeful the opportunity to reunite with Brooklyn Hustle in the Blue Diamond Stakes can deliver him a first win at racing’s elite level.
Mertens rode Brooklyn Hustle to an impressive win when the two-year-old filly made her debut at The Valley on December 1.
Ben Melham then rode Brooklyn Hustle when she finished fifth in the fillies Blue Diamond Prelude at her second start but when he decided to stick with unbeaten colt I Am Immortal in Saturday’s $1.5 million race, connections of Brooklyn Hustle called on Mertens again.
Mertens, 21, will be having his 20th ride in a Group One race and has finished second three times, all at Caulfield.
The closest he has come to a Group One victory was when Snitty Kitty was beaten a half-neck in the Oakleigh Plate last year.
He also finished second on Sovereign Nation in the 2017 Toorak Handicap and on Vassilator in this season’s Caulfield Guineas.
“This horse is probably one of the best chances I’ve ever ridden in a Group One,” Mertens said.
Mertens has also been booked to ride the mare From Within in Saturday’s Oakleigh Plate.
Mertens rode Brooklyn Hustle at Caulfield in a gallop on Tuesday morning, with the filly’s trainer Jason Warren keen to give the two-year-old another look at the track, believing she got a little unbalanced around the home turn in her only appearance there in the Prelude.
Mertens was delighted with the work and believes the filly is ready to go for Saturday.
“Obviously we all saw how impressive she was on debut and I definitely don’t think it was a fluke,” Mertens said.
“If she can bring that on Saturday I’ll be more than pleased.
“She looked like she was a little bit fresh and just got a little bit keen within herself in the Prelude.
“She still ran a really nice race. Off the work she did on Tuesday morning I know that she’s come on well and from that work she will come on even more for Saturday.
“She’s an exciting filly and I’m really excited to be a part of it.”