Luke Nolen, who began his riding apprenticeship in Dalby, Queensland, hit the big time with his 2007 Cox Plate success on El Segundo. About six months later he was involved in a shocking fall from the Bart Cummings trained Antidotes at Doomben which caused severe facial and leg injuries that kept him out of the saddle for six months. After arriving in Melbourne from Queensland, Nolen began riding for former Queensland trainer Peter Moody by accident. Nolen’s brother Shaun had ridden for Moody in Queensland and Melbourne newcomer Moody thought he was booking Shaun when he booked Luke for two winning rides at Sale.
With their initial association clicking, Moody and Nolen soon became one of the most successful combinations in Victoria, a partnership which dominated the 2009/10 season. Nolen rode 133 winners for the year, including 67 in the city to claim his first Melbourne premiership. Four of his six Group 1 wins for the year were aboard Moody’s mighty mare Typhoon Tracy.
The 2011/12 season marked another stellar chapter in Nolen’s career which keeps reaching new heights. He took out the Victorian Jockey’s Premiership for the third successive season and the state’s top riding award – the Scobie Breasley Medal – for the second year running. His year was made even better as he partnered the world’s best sprinting mare Black Caviar to win another six G1 races including the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.