Damien Oliver is Out of the Cup
Damien Oliver has lost his appeal against his race suspension, and will not be taking part in the Melbourne Cup. Oliver gave evidence which he hoped would prove he was simply trying to get into a better position when the incident that got him banned occurred, but to no avail.
Improper Riding at the Cox Plate
As punters who enjoy a spot of horse racing betting will no doubt be aware of, Damien Oliver, the high-profile jockey, will not be permitted to ride in the upcoming Melbourne Cup. He has lost his appeal against a ban covering 20 races after he was found guilty of improper riding, quote unquote, during the Cox Plate.
Oliver was charged with the offence by racing stewards after riding Happy Clapper, his horse, into Royal Symphony on multiple occasions over the weekend. Although the jockey challenged the decision, the Racing Appeal and Disciplinary Board opted to uphold the charges, despite the fact that Oliver has won the Melbourne Cup a total of three times.
Oliver Guilty of Directing His Horse into Royal Symphony
Oliver was set to ride Almandin next week, the Melbourne Cup favourite and defending champion. The hearing saw visions of the Cox Plate race, along with transcripts of interviews which took place on the day, and the race results, and the ban was upheld.
Terry Bailey, the Chief Steward, testified that Oliver had deliberately directed his horse into Royal Symphony numerous times, improperly, and had compromised not only the safety of the horse in doing so, but the rider as well. Bailey went on to state that just because no injury resulted does not mean that the danger was not there. Anyone who had studied form would have also seen that the actions taken were not within the norm.
Bailey stated that the horse and rider were put under obvious undue pressure, and that this was simply not acceptable.
Oliver’s Evidence Didn’t Hold Water
Oliver gave evidence to the Racing Appeal and Disciplinary Board that he felt proved that he was simply trying to get into a better position, riding closer to the rails, when the alleged incident occurred, but his claims were rejected. He went on to state that he had not endangered anyone, since horses are not known to fall as a result of bumps or lateral shifts, quote unquote, but although he emphatically stated that at no point was anyone in danger of falling, his ban was upheld.
Oliver argued that the incident occurred over a mere three seconds, and that he had felt zero resistance from Royal Symphony until the horse pushed him and his back out wide. He stated that, after this occurred; he did not turn his own horse back into Royal Symphony.
Dean Yendall Almost Compelled to Give Evidence
Oliver’s legal counsel attempted to compel Dean Yendall to present evidence to the board, although he did not wish to speak, taking into account Royal Symphony’s owners not wanting him to. The tribunal, however, decided that it could not do so, and this request was denied.
Almandin’s owners will now need to rush to find a jockey to replace Damien Oliver in the upcoming race.