Nolen takes premiership lead

Nolen takes premiership leadLuke Nolen took a late, narrow, and slightly embarrassing, lead in the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership at Sandown on Sunday.

Nolen and fellow rider Craig Newitt began the day locked together on top of the table, as they had on Saturday at Caulfield where they both rode a pair of winners.

And with neither having landed a victory in the first seven races, Nolen had his chance to break the deadlock on the $1.90 favourite Darlimurla Star in the last.

But as they jogged to the start, Darlimurla Star took a sharp right-hand turn and Nolen went straight over his shoulder and into the turf.

The horse was quickly caught at the barriers and Nolen picked himself up and was sheepishly reunited with his mount which he duly guided to victory.

“He just wanted to get to the start a bit quicker – and without me on him,” Nolen said after the race.

The victory was Nolen’s 68th in town for the season, and with five meetings still to count in the premiership race it is a most valuable one.