Luke Nolen was the beneficiary of another rider’s misfortune when he guided two-year-old El Greco to a convincing win at Flemington.
The Peter Moody-trained El Greco was sent out the $2.70 favourite and made light work of Saturday’s Eugene Gorman Handicap (1400m), striding clear over the final 200m to win by 3-1/2 lengths.
Daniel Stackhouse had ridden El Greco in his two starts but had to relinquish the mount on Saturday after failing on Friday in an appeal against a careless riding suspension.
El Greco had enjoyed a nice run on the rail before Nolen angled off the leader’s heels at the top of the straight.
Nolen hasn’t had a lot to do with El Greco in trackwork but liked the way the gelding lengthened stride to beat Alamonteel. Old Trieste was another 1-1/4 lengths away third.
“He might measure up to better than off-season class too on that win,” Nolen said.
“He seemed to eat up the seven furlongs (1400m) and I think he might even want a bit further.”
Moody’s racing manager Jeff O’Connor said there was intention to press on with El Greco but a definite decision would be made next week.
“It would be easier if the horse showed us on Monday he was looking for a break,” O’Connor said.
El Greco won a Kilmore maiden on debut and then finished second to stakes winner Prince Of Brooklyn in the Elvstroem Classic at Swan Hill eight days ago.