RACING Victoria's chief executive Robert Hines has rejected suggestions that a deal had been struck with leading jockey Damien Oliver prior to his admission that he had placed a $10,000 bet on a rival horse.
In the wake of Oliver being charged Tuesday morning over the bet he placed two years ago, Hines said no deals had been done to allow him to ride during the spring carnival and no contact had been made with Oliver prior to Monday.
Hines denied the suggestion that the timing of the charges was worked in Oliver's favour.
"The suggestion in media that admissions were received prior to this point ... an admission was received yesterday and the investigation has been ongoing," he said.
"We have acted as quickly as we could, following sufficient evidence to lay the charges."
Hines was asked if Monday's admissions was the first time Oliver had made contact with Racing Victoria on the matter and he replied "it will be revealed next Tuesday".
Racing Victoria (RV) confirmed on Tuesday morning that Oliver had made admissions to stewards about placing a $10,000 bet on the horse Miss Octopussy, the winner of a race at Moonee Valley in October 2010.
As Oliver prepared to ride highly fancied Americain in last week's Melbourne Cup, The Age broke the news that Oliver had admitted the alleged wrongdoing to investigators - yet was free to continue his spring carnival campaign.
Stewards have now stood Oliver down from riding under Australian Rule of Racing (AR) 193, pending a hearing next Tuesday.
Oliver, 40, is also charged with making a mobile phone call from the jockeys' room at Moonee Valley prior to the race in question.
The latest development comes after The Age first revealed exclusively last month that the veteran jockey was under investigation for the alleged bet.
At the time Oliver refused to comment to but issued the following statement when the story was published: "With regards to the allegations made in the Fairfax Media this morning, I cannot and will not be making any comment, other than to say allegations such as these are damaging and hurtful … and that everyone, myself included, should have the right to a due process being followed here. With that in mind, I'd request that my rights in this area be respected."
Oliver reportedly faces a ban from riding of between eight months and a year if found guilty to the two charges relating to his admissions.
RV stewards Rob Montgomery and James Hitchcock formally laid the charges following a lengthy investigation.
The two charges levelled at Oliver are as follows: AR 83 (c) "Every jockey or apprentice may be penalised if he bets, or facilitates the making of, or has any interest in a bet on any race or contingency relating to thoroughbred racing, or if he be present in the betting ring during any race meeting," and AR 160B(3): "No person shall, without the permission of the stewards: within the area of the jockeys room bring into, have in his possession, or use any portable telephone, radio transmitter, radio transceiver or any other appliance, apparatus, instrument or equipment capable of receiving or transmitting information."
The particulars of charge one are that Oliver placed a $10,000 bet on Miss Octopussy to win race six, the Haden Handicap (1200m), at Moonee Valley on 1 October 2010.
The Oliver affair has led to calls for the Victorian government to step in to give stewards more authority to ban jockeys after reports Oliver had admitted betting on a rival horse.
Oliver lost rides in the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup during the Spring Carnival when the claims were first aired last month.
Oliver will face a Racing Victoria stewards' panel next Tuesday, 20 November.
Michael Sharkie, Scott Spits and AAP