Racing world in grief as champion, Group 1-winning jockey Peter Mertens passes away at age 58. Peter Mertens was very well known to Gippsland racing and rode his first winner at Bairnsdale in 1979 on Meadow Law for local trainer Frank McMahon.
He held the title of King of Gippsland Racing for many years. Read ahead to know what happened to him and Peter Mertens cause of death here.
Peter Mertens Death: What happened to him?
After a struggle with illness, Group 1 rider Peter Mertens passed away at the age of 58. Mertens rode more than 2100 winners, including seven at the top level in Victoria and South Australia, before receiving an inoperable pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2020.
Rustic Dream won the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield in 1999, giving Mertens his first Group 1 victory. He also had excellent success with Bart Cummings’ stayer Sirmione.
In both the 2007 Mackinnon Stakes and the 2008 Australian Cup, Mertens rode Sirmione to victory. In the popular racer’s career, she won 16 Group 3 races and five Group 2 races. After suffering a catastrophic fall in 2013, Mertens retired in 2014.
“Peter talks candidly about his career”
Peter talks about his early years growing up in the Gippsland area and his two apprenticeships, the first with George O’Mealley and the second with Lloyd Timms.
Peter vanished for two years from the racing scene just as his riding career was gaining steam. He explains that after his mother had a breakdown, he had to take care of his younger siblings.
He had hardly returned to action when he fell during a race and shattered his neck. He discusses his protracted, laborious recovery.
Peter remembers a highly successful period in Singapore working with a former Victorian trainer and the startling phone call informing him of his mother’s untimely passing.
He is aware of the one who escaped! In the 1999 Blue Diamond, he felt Charm Scene Land was a nice thing, and he was upset when a high temperature forced the kid to withdraw from the major event.
He speaks of the miraculous turn of events that led to his Group 1 victory that same day. Peter remembers his fortunate streak during the 2001 Adelaide Cup carnival, during which he won the Derby, the Oaks, and the actual Cup.
Reflecting on his relationship with Bart Cummings, the former jockey. In the 2007–2008 season, the two worked together to win a McKinnon Stakes and an Australian Cup with Sirmione.
He thinks back on the jockeys for whom he had a special affection as well as his son Beau’s accomplishments, who had a fantastic apprenticeship.
Peter discusses the development of five additional kids. He remembers riding Envoy unsuccessfully in the Melbourne Cup, Makybe Diva’s third Cup, in 2005. He claims that being a part of it was emotionally taxing.
Peter Mertens cause of death
Peter Mertens, a well-known and successful jockey, passed away at the age of 58 after a fight with pancreatic cancer.
He is survived by his wife Gulcin, six children—including jockey Beau Mertens—three stepchildren, and six grandchildren. We extend our sincere condolences to Peter’s family and friends.
Many of us who knew Peter Mertens were left in absolute shock when we heard the news of his passing. Moreover, the outpour of messages and condolences from his friends and family speaks volumes about the kind of person he was.
Tributes poured in social media following Peter Mertens’s passing
Victoria CEO Andrew Jones said,
“The Victorian racing industry is deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Peter Mertens after a brave battle with illness,” “Peter was a highly regarded member of the industry to which he made significant contributions for 35 years as a jockey.
Victorian Jockeys’ Association chief executive Matt Hyland said,
“We are incredibly sorry to hear of Peter’s passing and extend our condolences to his family – in particular his son Beau. We are thinking of them all at this particularly sad time,” Hyland said. “Peter was as gallant in fighting his illness as he was on the racecourse, and he will be sorely missed by many people in Victorian racing and beyond.”
Group 1 jockey Simon Marshall said,
“It hits hard for the passing of Peter Mertens!” Marshall posted on Twitter. “I was blessed to be part of Pete’s life as a close mate! Godfather to his son Zac and willing close friend to all of his extended family! “He lived a great life and experience many joys including winning at G1 level. “Respect!”
Trainer Mick Price, who trained Mertens’ first Group 1 winner, said
He saw a lot of the talented jockey in son Beau, who has ridden 563 winners at the age of just 25. ‘I have very fond memories of him personally and professionally. He was a lovely man. I spent a lot of time with Peter in the early days. We found our first Group 1 winner together,’ he told Racing.com.
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