Jockey Luke Nolen will be the new rider for Jukebox when he lines up in the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 25.
Craig Williams had ridden Jukebox for two wins from two starts and the Snitzel colt was on his short list of mounts for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes but the in-demand jockey chose the Lindsay Park trained Catchy for the $1.5m juvenile Group 1.
Nolen’s manger Reece Murphy tweeted that Nolen would be aboard the Ciaron Maher trained youngster on Saturday week.
“Luke Nolen booked to ride Jukebox in the Blue Diamond,” Murphy tweeted.
With Williams in the saddle Jukebox scored on debut in an 1100m 2yo Maiden at Geelong on January 12 followed by a two lengths win in the Restricted Listed $250,000 Inglis Premier (1200m) at Caulfield on February 4.
Nolen will be chasing his second win in the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes after riding Reward For Effort to victory for trainer Peter Moody in 2009.
Nolen has teamed up with Maher lately and the pair combined for a win with Vantaggio in a 1600m BenchMark 64 at Sandown on February 8 and rode Caulfield Cup winner Jameka into fourth place behind Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Jukebox is well in contention in the betting for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes and is marked at $9 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Catchy and the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Pariah share favouritism at $6 just ahead of Formality and Property at $8.
The connections of the Robert Smerdon trained Property still have to pay a $55,000 late entry fee if they want the Starcraft youngster to take his place in the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes.
Property was also under consideration by Williams’ after the top jockey rode him to victory twice at Caulfield in the Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) (1000m) on January 26 and in the Group 3 $200,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) on February 11.
Early market order for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 Catchy, Pariah, $8 Formality, Property, $9 Jukebox, $10 Limestone, $15 Roomooz, Tulip, $17 Azazel, Chateau Griffo, $21 Arctic Angel, Madeenaty, Veranillo, $26 or better the rest.