Jockey Damien Oliver leaves the appeal hearing in Melbourne.
Jockey Damien Oliver leaves the appeal hearing in Melbourne. JULIAN SMITH

Oliver loses appeal against reckless riding ban

CHAMPION jockey Damien Oliver will ride in the Caulfield Cup tomorrow but his appeal against a reckless riding ban has been dismissed, ruling him out of next week's Cox Plate and Derby Day the following weekend.

The Racing and Appeals Disciplinary Board took little more than an hour today to dismiss Oliver's appeal against a 20-meeting suspension, finding his actions on Flying Artie in the Blue Sapphire Stakes at Caulfield on Wednesday were "deliberate”.

The rules of racing allow Oliver to take the Caulfield Cup ride on $13 shot Exospheric, as the final field had been declared and he had been booked for the ride before his appeal.

Oliver will, however, miss the plumb ride on French star Vadamos in the Cox Plate and a host of other rides at the rich Derby Day meeting.

His suspension finishes on Melbourne Cup day, November 1, with the board rejecting a submission on his behalf to lessen the penalty to 17 meetings so he could return for Derby Day.

Chief steward Terry Bailey had been highly critical of Oliver's winning ride on Flying Artie, telling the jockey on Wednesday: "Your actions are in our view reckless, putting the safety of both (jockey) Dean Yendall and Ken's Dream at high risk.”

Oliver, who had moved out sharply from behind runners and shouldered Ken's Dream out of the way, responded: "I certainly won't be pleading guilty to reckless riding.

"I have been riding nearly 30 years and never been charged under this rule and I certainly don't think it was reckless.

"I'm stuck on the fence behind stablemates on a short-priced favourite, you and the punters would be asking, 'What are you doing?'”

Oliver conceded during today's hearing that there had been significant contact between the horses, more than he expected, but said he did not believe the ride was reckless.

He repeated that sentiment to reporters after the hearing, saying: "I felt I certainly wasn't riding in a reckless manner. My record proves over a long period of time that that's not the case.”

It is the first time in his career that Oliver has been suspended for reckless riding.



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