El Stupendo Proves Nolen Wrong

Jul 25, 2010

Premier jockey Luke Nolen was the first to admit that El Stupendo, full brother of El Segundo, proved him wrong winning yesterday's $13,000 Chisholm Petroleum Maiden Plate (1300m) at Geelong.

"I said to Colin that this horse had ability but wouldn't win a race under seven furlongs," said Nolen.

El Stupendo ($1.50,$2,$1.90) was heavily supported in the betting ring but had bookies smiling in the run sitting the best part of ten lengths off the pace in the three wide line with cover.

Nolen started a long run approaching the home turn and produced a strong finish to wear down Power Cat ($26), who kicked three lengths clear in the straight, scoring by more than a length on the line with a further head to Tricky Choice ($5,$6.50).

The win also came as some surprise to trainer Colin Little who wasn't expecting to see the three-year-old's best over the short trips.

"It has been said he would need a mile and I tended to agree," said Little.

"That said it didn't look to be the strongest field today."

Little observed the gelding's 'sluggish' racing style as a likely attribute going forward, despite almost costing El Stupendo victory.

"He did get a long way back today and has always been a sluggish horse that only does as much as he is asked," said Little.

"However when he gets to 2000m and relaxes the way he does it will hold him in good stead, especially as he responds to the jockey.

"The further he goes the better he will go."

Little praised the faith and patience showed in him by connections and said he would resist temptations to send the gelding to the city.

"The owners of this horse have been very patient with me as he was going nowhere as a colt," said Little.

"The form he is showing gives them some light at the end of the tunnel as gelding such a well bred colt was not an easy choice.

"We will keep him in the country for a while as being a four-year-old in a few weeks they would just have too much experience for him in the city.

"But I'm not too concerned as the family have all taken time," Little added.