LUKE Nolen, who will participate in the Cathay Pacific International Jockeys’ Championship for the first time next Wednesday, is quiet and reserved by nature. Perhaps even shy would be the public perception.

He prefers to let his deeds in the saddle do the talking and, to that end, he’s made plenty of noise in the past couple of years.

With Cox Plate success; the past two champion jockey titles in Victoria; a best ride award at the Shergar Cup meeting and the small matter of 13 wins aboard the world’s best sprinter Black Caviar, it’s been hard for the boy from the Queensland bush to avoid the spotlight.

That’s not something he relishes but he is never anything but extremely cooperative with the media - even if it might sometimes to take a question or two for him to warm up and display his keen but understated sense of humour.

“I suppose I made it look all too easy,” he quipped, without any hint of seriousness, when asked two seasons back why his raft of winners had failed to win him votes in the Scobie Breasley jockey’s medal which is awarded each year in Victoria.

Nolen has endeared himself to trainers and racing fans alike with his willingness to put his hand up and admit to the odd bad ride and with his low key celebrations aboard the great mare Black Caviar - simply pointing to her as the only one, in the partnership, deserving of the applause. Plus the public warmed to his work ethic in recovering from a shocking fall at Doomben in May 2008 which caused severe facial and leg injuries.

Nolen began his riding apprenticeship in Dalby Queensland. He rode his first winner at Albury in October 1998 but had to wait eight years for his breakthrough success at the top level - his first Group 1 win came in October 2006 on board Wonderful World, for the legendary Bart Cummings, in the Caulfield Guineas.

Twelve months later came the 2007 Cox Plate on El Segundo. But it was after recovering from his 2008 fall and teaming up again with fellow Queenslander, trainer Peter Moody who was already beginning to enjoy huge success in Melbourne that his star was really on the rise. Moody and Nolen have became the most successful combination in Victoria,  dominating the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons, with Nolen champion jockey in Victoria in each of those years.

The strength of the Moody stable is obviously a factor, but their success is complementary and there are plenty of other trainers clamouring for his services when he’s available.

“The funny thing is he’s still underrated,” says trainer Mick Kent. “Trust me. There is certainly no better jockey in Australia at the moment and I use him whenever I can.”

Nolen is looking forward to riding in Hong Kong. “I had a great time riding in the jockeys' event at Ascot last year and I can’t wait to compete again against some of the world’s best at Happy Valley,” he said.