Luke Nolen faced the Australian media at a Mornington press conference today to clear the air on his Black Caviar ride so he could get down to business and concentrate on retaining his Melbourne jockey’s premiership.
Nolen was criticised heavily by the English press for easing up on the great mare in the run to the line in the Group 1 £500,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) at Royal Ascotlast Saturday but was still able to scrape home by a head for Black Caviar to remain unbeaten from twenty-two starts.
Nolen admits that he made an error in judgement and the Royal Ascot win should have been a dream come true, not an ongoing nightmare.
“It should have been one of the biggest days of my life but being my own worst critic and my ride being the story of the day it didn’t sit well with me and unfortunately that is my cross to bare,” Nolen said.
“I’m okay with it now, it took me a few cans on Saturday night to get right with it, but we have moved on.”
“I can’t get yesterday back and she is still undefeated.”
Black Caviar is still in England in quarantine recovering from torn muscles she sustained in her record making win and her Spring will be reassessed by trainer Peter Moody when she returns to Melbourne.
Moody will monitor her recovery and if he thinks she is up to a Spring campaign a third Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival will be on the agenda and if not retirement could be on the horizon.
“I’ll be happy for her to press on. Like all the horses in Pete’s care, the horse comes first and she’ll tell us,” Nolen said.
“… it’d be (with) great pride that when she is retired that I was associated with one of the best horses I’ve ever seen, ever ridden and may ever see.”
Nolen, on sixty-two wins, will be back at Caulfield on Saturday to try to overtake rival Craig Newitt who still maintains a one win lead in the premiership race after both jockeys rode a winner on Wednesday.
With a month to go an interesting battle is looming with Nolen remaining the favourite with the backing of the powerful Moody stable.
Watch the full press conference via TVN: