No fears for Nolen ahead of Royal Ascot

Ascot experience will give jockey Luke Nolen the edge on Black Caviar in the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes

Victorian jockey Luke Nolen believes his past experience riding at Ascot will prove invaluable when he partners champion mare Black Caviar in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) on Saturday June 23.

Nolen rode at Ascot during the 2010 Shergar Cup meeting, winning the Shergar Cup Mile aboard local gelding Set The Trend for the Rest Of The World team.

The star hoop, who shares the lead in the Melbourne jockeys premiership with Craig Newitt, will also take rides for local trainers on Tuesday’s opening day and Friday’s Coronation Stakes day before Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee.

“I’ve ridden at Ascot and it’s probably going to hold me in good stead because I won’t get completely overwhelmed by the situation,” Nolen said.

“It is a testing track but I’ve got a couple of rides there during the week so that will help me re-familiarise myself with the track.

“It is a very testing six furlong race up the straight but she is very effective here (Flemington) up the straight and she will run through the line as strongly there as she would at home.”

Nolen has ridden the mare in 18 of her 21 career wins and is confident he can improve that record at Royal Ascot, despite the prospect of a rain-affected track.

While Black Caviar has never raced on a wet surface, Nolen said her trackwork at home indicated the mare handled it and may benefit from the sting out of the track.

“If she shows up in the form that she left here in, you are going to be in for a real treat at Ascot,” he said.

“She has been exposed to it (wet tracks), not at the races, but at home and she has trialled on a very wet track one day well on the bridle.

“I think it will play to her strengths. As long as we are able to get footing on the track, I don’t think it will be a hindrance. It may even assist her because she is a big, heavy framed horse.”

Nolen will ride at Flemington tomorrow before flying out of Melbourne, arriving in England to accompany Black Caviar in her final piece of work before the Diamond Jubilee.

“I’ll get a spin around her early next week, either Monday or Tuesday, and that will probably be her last solid hit-out before the weekend and hopefully she comes through that well,” he said.

Nolen was at Federation Square today to help promote the Black Caviar Live Site which will feature entertainment from Matt Hetherington and Tommy Little as well as the Diamond Jubilee on the big screen.

For more information on the Live Site click here.

- Racing Victoria