Nolen cleared to ride in Perth Group 1s

By: Mark Mazzaglia
November 18th, 2013

Luke Nolen has been cleared of any serious knee injury and expects to be fit to ride at the dual Group 1 meeting at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.

Luke Nolen expects to be fit to ride Moment Of Change in the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot.

Luke Nolen expects to be fit to ride Moment Of Change in the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

The Festival Of Perth Racing is well and truly under way on Saturday with the running of the Group 1 $500,000 Crown Perth – Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) and the Group 1 $1m Carlton Draught – Railway Stakes (1600m).

Nolen looked like missing the rides on the Peter Moody trained pair, Moment Of Change in the Winterbottom Stakea and Plucky Belle in the Railway Stakes, after he was thrown from the Rob Wellington trained Bullpit prior to the running of the first race at Caulfield last Saturday.

The premiership winning jockey had to forfeit all his Caulfield rides, including the winning ride on Floria in the Group 3 $135,000 Le Pine Funerals Summoned Stakes (1600m) with Craig Newitt substituting, and was taken to hospital to have scans on his knee that was twisted when he hit the ground in the mounting enclosure.

Nolen made a second trip to the doctors this morning and his wife Alicia has tweeted that the top jockey has been cleared of any major damage and will resuming riding track work later in the week and is confident of travelling to Perth for the weekend.

“Luke Nolen cleared of any serious knee damage. Will ride work later in the week and expects to be fine for Perth Saturday,” Alicia Nolen tweeted.

Nolen was aboard last start winner Plucky Belle when she beat Arinosa in the Group 3 $200,000 Lavazza Short Black (1400m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.

And Moment Of Change, who hasn’t won a race since taking out the Group 1 $400,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Spring, will come up against Buffering again after finishing third to the Queensland sprinter in the Group 1 $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9.

Moody is banking on a change of luck to turn the tables on Buffering in the Winterbottom Stakes after Moment Of Changed also finished fourth to the in-form sprinter in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.

“Moment Of Change is going to need luck to beat Buffering but he has always been in the mix in those sorts of races,” Moody said.

“You’ve got to be in it to win it, you’re not going to have luck at home.”

Moment Of Change is currently on the third line of betting for the Winterbottom Stakes at $6.50 behind the $2.60 favourite Buffering and top local sprinter Barakey at $4.80.

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