Mertens hoping wait pays off

Peter Mertens is hoping a two-year wait will pay off when he rides the Danny O'Brien-trained Absolut Glam in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap on Saturday at Eagle Farm.

Mertens flew to Brisbane for the Stradbroke mount on early favourite Undue in 2006 but had to watch from the sidelines as the Doomben 10,000 winner amazingly was named an emergency and didn't get a start.

"I have had to wait two years so hopefully it will be worth it," Mertens said.

Danny O'Brien trains Absolut Glam, who is at $21 with TAB Sportsbet, and first emergency Juste Moment ($51) but both were on Wednesday dealt visitors' draws in barriers 20 and 22 respectively.

Absolut Glam will move in three places if the emergencies don't get a run but Mertens believes the wide draw may actually become an advantage after the recent rain in Brisbane.

"Hopefully the fence is off," Mertens said.

"There should be plenty of pace in the race anyway and they should stretch out a bit."

Steven King has been the regular jockey for Absolut Glam but he will ride second favourite Vormista ($7.50) on Saturday.

A Group Two winner, Absolut Glam has had a consistent campaign and after finishing second to Zarita in the Kewney Stakes at Flemington nearly fell when third in the Gold Coast Magic Millions Trophy.

Last start she charged home to run second to Helideck in the BTC Sprint at Doomben on May 17.

Mertens was booked for Absolut Glam last Monday and he will shed 1.5kg to ride the filly in the Stradbroke.

"I'm 53.5kg today which is pretty good without a sweat," Mertens said.

"I will get serious in the next couple of days to get down to 52kg."

Mertens has won six Group One races, the most recent on the Bart Cummings-trained Sirmione in both the Australian Cup in March and the Mackinnon Stakes last spring.

James Winks has been booked for Juste Momente.

Mertens has also picked up the ride on outsider Where's Henry in Saturday's Queensland Derby (2400m).

Where's Henry is still a maiden after six starts and is quoted at $201.

By Robert Windmill - AAP Racing.

Read full article here at AAP Racing

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