Having achieved his dream of a first Group One win, Jake Noonan is determined to build on the momentum.
Noonan admitted it had been a long road in the five years since he was injured in a race fall at Flemington until he landed his first Group One in Saturday’s Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville on Precious Gem.
It came after an emotion-filled week for Noonan who won a reduction in a careless riding suspension allowing him to keep the ride.
Along with the excitement of winning at the elite level for the first time, Noonan’s thoughts were with colleague Luke Nolen after the race.
Nolen was injured in a fall during the Robert Sangster and was still being attended to when the presentation was made.
Noonan said it wasn’t until he had some quiet time on the way home the achievement started to sink in.
“It wasn’t until I got to the airport, switched my phone off and was sitting on the plane by myself that it started to sink in,” Noonan said.
“It was good just to have that moment with myself and just absorb it, and say to myself `I’ve just won a Group One’.”
He had the chance to spend Sunday with family, including his Group One-winning trainer father Tony.
“It was Dad’s birthday. It was Mother’s day. And I went and watched my sister play footy,” Noonan said.
“It was great to share the emotion with my family.”
Noonan has credited a decision to start going to Caulfield trackwork last year as a turning point in his career, given the opportunities it has created with Precious Gem’s trainer Henry Dwyer and Mick Price.
“There’s no doubt success in any sort of form inspires you to achieve it to a higher level and go on with it,” he said.
“So now it just makes me more hungry, more focused, more professional to want to achieve some more Group One success and keep the ball rolling.
“It’s good to get the first one out of the way and to chase the second one is going to be even harder, but I feel like I’m in a real good mentality at the moment.
“Physically I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m getting great opportunities and support from some really good stables with some quality horses.”
Noonan’s rides at Caulfield this Saturday include Chapel Road and Whoop Whoop for Price.