Luke Nolen has cleared himself for his Group 1 assignments in Perth on Saturday after coming through a morning track work session at Caulfield today with flying colours.
Nolen looked likely to miss Super Saturday at Ascot this weekend after being thrown from two year old Bullpit before the running of the first race at Caulfield last Saturday, but the premiership winning jockey’s injured knee has responded to treatment and he will be saddling up on Saturday.
“Galloped 4 horses at Caulfield this morning. Knee pulled up great. Can’t wait for Perth Saturday,” Nolen tweeted.
Nolen will be looking to break a Group 1 drought that he and trainer Peter Moody have been enduring when he is legged up onto Moment Of Change and Plucky Belle in the two Group 1s on Saturday.
The pair haven’t been in the Group 1 winner’s stall since stable star Black Caviar won her farewell race in the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 13.
The consistent Moment Of Change will be testing motors again with the in-form Buffering in the Group 1 $500,000 Crown Perth – Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) while Plucky Belle is facing her toughest test to date and is stepping up to Group 1 company in the $1m Carlton Draught – Railway Stakes (1600m).
Moment Of Change has seen the Group 1 winner’s stall when successful in the 2012 $400,000 Clamms Seafood Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield twelve months ago and has shown he is not far off another Group 1 win with a fourth and a third behind Buffering in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley and the Group 1 $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington at his last two starts.
Moody and the connections of Plucky Belle decided to pay the $22,000 late entry fee for the Railway Stakes after the Mossman mare won the Group 3 $200,000 Lavazza Short Black (1400m) at Flemington on November 5.
Moment Of Change is equal third pick with Spirit Of Boom at $7.50 for the Winterbottom Stakes with Buffering the logical favourite at $2.20 ahead of local hero Barakey at $4.40.
Plucky Belle is also in the betting for the Railway Stakes and is marked as an $8 chance behind $4.60 favourite Smokin’ Joey and Longport at $6.50.
And Queensland mare Fire Up Fifi is also in the betting at $9 after finishing third to Red Tracer in the Group 1 $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on November 2.