Luke Nolen set to return to the saddle in C S Hayes Stakes

By: Mark Mazzaglia
February 16th, 2016

Premiership winning jockey and Black Caviar’s regular rider Luke Nolen will make his long awaited returned to the saddle in the Group 3 $150,000 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Luke Nolen above on the great Black Caviar. Photo by Bruno Cannatelli.

Luke Nolen above on the great Black Caviar. Photo by Bruno Cannatelli.

Nolen has been on the sidelines since July 4 last year following a recurrence of a back injury that required surgery and has taken the ride on the Peter Moody trained Gold Symphony.

Nolen and Moody became a formidable force together in Melbourne, sharing premierships from the 2009/2010 season to 2011/2012 as well as the sharing the limelight associated with the efforts of Black Caviar’s unbeaten run of twenty-five wins, with Nolen aboard for twenty-two of the glamour mare’s victories.

Ironically Gold Symphony was Nolen’s last winner before he went under the knife to repair a prolapsed disc in his lower back and the pair combined to win a Mornington Maiden on July 2.

Nolen’s last day in the saddle was two days later on July 4 when he had four rides for Moody at Caulfield resulting in two seconds on Angels Beach and Herstory, a sixth on Favourite Sister and an eighth on Zuma Roc.

Nolen was glad the ride on Gold Symphony came along as he was looking for rides at Wodonga on Saturday.

“I thought after riding work and a little sweat I might be tired by the time I get there so it’s probably a good thing I’m going to Flemington,” Nolen told AAP.

“I’ll be fresher.”

Gold Symphony is one of sixteen three year olds nominated for the C S Hayes Stakes and will carry the 58.5kg top weight.

“I don’t envisage having a sweat,” Nolen said.

“But it’s been a part of the routine, so I might have one just in case.”

The Reward For Effort colt is the winner of three of his six race starts but hasn’t tasted success since winning the Group 3 $150,000 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 29 a fortnight after winning the Group 3 $150,000 KS Environmental Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 15.

Gold Symphony has had two unplaced runs back from a spell for a fifth to Hellbent in the $250,000 Inglis Dash (1100m) at Flemington on January 16 followed by a last of twelve in the Group 3 $150,000 Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 6.

Nolen has racked up thirty-five Group 1 wins and as well as riding Black Caviar to fourteen of those wins, he was also won a Cox Plate on El Segundo in 2007, four Group 1 wins on Typhoon Tracy, three on the French import Manighar and a Stradbroke Handicap on Mid Summer Music.

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