Nolen on O’Reilly Cup Hopeful
25 October 2011
Champion Victorian hoop Luke Nolen has been booked to ride one of the few Australian-trained horses left in the Gr I Melbourne Cup (3200m). Australian Derby and Guineas winner Shamrocker was unplaced in Saturday’s Cox Plate and trainer Danny O’Brien booked Nolen to partner the mare in the world’s richest handicap.
The O’Reilly mare had previously finished seventh in the Gr I Turnbull Stakes (2000m) giving her form a striking resemblance to that of the last Melbourne Cup winner to come out of the Cox Plate. In 2007, Lloyd Williams’s galloper Efficient finished 11th in the Turnbull and ninth in the Cox Plate before producing a stunning turn of foot to win at Flemington. Interestingly, like Shamrocker, Efficient was a Derby winner in the season before tackling the Melbourne Cup.
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