Melbourne based jockey Luke Nolen will be having his first ride on Caulfield Cup winner Jameka in the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Nolen takes over the reins from fellow jockey Nick Hall who is out indefinitely awaiting another round of surgery on his troublesome hip.
Hall’s manager Reece Murphy said that Hall would have to wait until May to have surgery on his right hip and when he returns to the saddle is uncertain.
“He is a bit shattered at the moment,” Murphy told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“He was looking forward to Jameka on the weekend.”
“He saw a specialist yesterday and he has to have surgery on his hip. Has to go to the surgeon, book in and have it operated on and then the rehab and he is not going to put a time frame on it.”
“He has had numerous operations on his hips before and it keep happening.”
“He is not going to put a time frame it and get his body right and that could four, maybe six months to however long that needs to get it right.”
Hall took over the reins on Jameka from Craig Williams early in the 2016 Spring Carnival and the pair were quick to find the winner’s stall with victory in the Group 3 $150,000 Bendigo Bank East Malvern MRC Foundation Cup (Naturalism Stakes) (2000m) at Caulfield on September 17.
At their next start Hall and Jameka ran second to Hartnell in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington before combining to win the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield.
Trainer Ciaron Maher then lined up Jameka in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington with Hall aboard but the four year old failed to run out the 3200m and faded to finish fifteenth to Almandin.
Maher is happy with the way Jameka is shaping up for her return to the race track and said that she worked well on Tuesday morning at Caulfield.
“She worked super (on Tuesday), she looked sharp and quickened up over the last 200m,” Maher told Racing.com.
“She is always a great worker, but she does look sharper this time around.”
“I’m really happy with how she’s going in.”
Caulfield trackman Rob Nicholson was on hand on Tuesday morning and confirmed that Jameka was looking good for her 2017 Autumn Carnival debut in the Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes.
“Jameka worked on her own (Tuesday morning) over 800m and ran home the last 400m in 23.5secs,” Nicholson told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“She has come through the jump out from last week very very impressively when she jumped the gates, went to the front and was only run down late by Super Cash with a bit of a gap to the rest of the field.”
“She looks in terrific order and I think she will run a really bold race and expect her to kick off her campaign in pretty good fashion when she contests the CF Orr Stakes at Group 1 level over 1400m.”
“Obviously she is going to come up against some very good opposition but she is certainly fairly forward in her progress for her first up run at Caulfield on the weekend.”
Even though Maher expects Jameka to to be in the finish of the Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes, bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have her at the double figure odds of $16.
The Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart heads the market order at $3.90 just ahead of last start Australia Stakes winner Malaguerra at $4.
Also under double figures is Black Heart Bart’s stablemate Luckly Hussler at $7 and Team Hawkes’ Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Prophet at $8.