Father and son combine for rare victory

Luke Nolen doesn’t get the opportunity to combine with his trainer father Vincent too often.

But they made the most of the opportunity at Mornington on Wednesday, joining forces with Central Pass to win the Splashland.com.au Handicap.

Nolen, who rode former champion mare Black Caviar to 22 of her 25 victories, estimates he has combined with his father for 10 victories over his career as a jockey.

Vincent Nolen trains at Benalla and wasn’t on course at Mornington, leaving the saddling duties to Luke’s younger brother Shaun.

The story goes Black Caviar’s future trainer Peter Moody was looking to book Shaun for a couple of rides last decade, but mistakenly booked Luke.

“We look a lot alike,” Luke Nolen said.

“There’s only 15 months between us. He’s younger but he’s always been a bit bigger than me.”

While it was a case of mistaken identity, the trainer-jockey combination clicked and were highly successful before Moody stepped away from racing after his cobalt ban in March.

Nolen said it was his father who had sent him to do his apprenticeship with Gerald Egan at Mansfield.

“I wouldn’t have survived an apprenticeship with my old man,” he said.

“But it’s nice to get a winner for him and I’ve only just realised it’s a city race which makes it even better.”

Nolen said his father had always knocked around with a small team of horses but his main income nowadays comes from breaking in and pre-training and also preparing horses for ready-to-run sales.

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