Luke Nolen makes triumphant return on I Wish I Win in Kingsford Smith Cup

Katherine Coleman finally experienced a Group One win first-hand as Luke Nolen rekindled his successful partnership with I Wish I Win to emerge triumphant in the Kingsford Smith Cup at Eagle Farm.

Nolen had been the five-year-old’s regular rider prior to this year but was overlooked for the mount in the Doomben 10,000, which went to James McDonald, who partnered the gelding to a narrow second to Bella Nipotina.

With McDonald in Japan this weekend, racing’s swings and roundabouts came back in Nolen’s favour and he didn’t waste the opportunity, producing a dazzling ride to steer I Wish I Win to his first victory in over 12 months.

“Obviously, I’ve done a lot on this horse and I was a bit disappointed when I was taken off, but we made amends today,” Nolen said.

“Some days you’re at the top and other days you can be at the bottom, so you take each day as it comes.

“I was pretty down, but these experiences are character building and I’ve got plenty of bloody character now.”

It has been well documented that I Wish I Win ($3.90 equal fav) enjoys galloping room, so Nolen knew he had to work some magic to get the horse to the right part of the track from barrier one in Saturday’s Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup (1300m).

But horse and jockey proved up to the task, Nolen switching the gelding across heels in the straight as I Wish I Win pulled too many punches for the ever-game Bella Nipotina ($8) to score by a long neck.

In Secret ($8.50) was third another two lengths away.

It was a third major for the Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman partnership, which also claimed Group 1 wins with Chain Of Lightning and Autumn Angel during the Sydney carnival.

However, Saturday was the first time Coleman had been on track to celebrate.

“I haven’t been on course for the other ones so it’s incredibly special,” Coleman said.

“Barrier one, he was going to need a good ride from Luke Nolen and I’m so thrilled for Luke to win this on him as well.

“He has worked hard to get back on him and that adds another layer to it.

“There were definitely a few nervous moments there. We said pre-race we were going to need some magic from Luke and he was able to provide that.”

Coleman confirmed I Wish I Win would be spelled to prepare for the spring and another shot at The Everest in which he finished a narrow second to Think About It last year.

Think About It was a well-supported $3.90 equal betting site favourite on Saturday but despite enjoying a great run behind the speed, he was unable to quicken and finished fifth.

“(He) presented to win and didn’t go on with it. It wasn’t the Think About It we know so there might be something there,” jockey Blake Shinn said.

Craig Williams was delighted with Bella Nipotina, who was gallant in defeat after being under a fitness cloud during the week.

“We were just denied, beaten by a bloody good horse” Williams said.

“She’s a pleasure to ride and fought her heart out.”

I Wish I Win gave Moody and Coleman a feature race double after Roll On High earned herself a ballot exemption from the Stradbroke Handicap with an upset victory in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1400m).

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