Rising star Beau Mertens had a day to remember at Benalla yesterday, riding his way to three winners.
Mertens saluted in race two, four and seven to complete the treble at Benalla Racing Club’s rescheduled meeting.
After rain forced the abandonment on Monday, the eight-race meeting was shifted six days with free entry for patrons and the weather turned it on second time around.
Mertens rode the Darren Weir-trained Last Request to victory in the Sam Miranda Wines 3YO Maiden Plate, before backing up in the Comfort Inn Benalla BM58 Handicap with Kissee Mee.
His last winner was another Weir-trained horse, with the New Zealand bred Praecereus taking out the CA Sinclair Pork Wholesalers BM64 Handicap.
The day started off with the Lindsay Park-trained Midtown Manhattan getting up for David Hayes and Tom Dabernig in the Sportsbet Benalla Gold Cup March 25 Maiden Plate.
There were some keen eyes looking at the Marshall and Dent Lawyers Maiden Plate, with plenty of local interest in Carlistos’ second race after debuting at Kerang on Boxing Day
Carlistos, trained at Tatura by Gary Sherer, boasts a number of members from the Shepparton East Football Club and former News sports journalist Eamonn Tiernan, among his ownership group.
After a less-than-ideal start to his career, Carlistos started well in race three before fading late to finish ninth in a race Western Wow won.