Oliver 'hurt' by betting allegations
Jockey Damien Oliver says the allegations are 'hurtful'. Photo: Jenny Evans
- Damien Oliver's $10,000 secret bet
- Oliver dumped from Cox Plate ride
Damien Oliver today issued a statement claiming he had been "hurt" by allegations by Fairfax Media that the jockey had bet $10,000 on a rival horse in a race in which he was riding.
Jockey Damien Oliver at Flemington last week. Photo: Ken Irwin
In a prepared statement, Oliver, 40, said: "I've been a jockey for 24 years. My record and reputation show me to be honest, committed and trustworthy.
"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.
"That is all I have to say at this time."
It was alleged by the Sunday Age that Oliver had bet, through a third party, $10,000 on Miss Octopussy to win a race at Moonee Valley in October 2010.
The allegation stems from police inquiries into race fixing that have so far implicated several jockeys, including the recently disqualified Danny Nikolic and are being investigated by racing stewards.
Racing Victoria Ltd chief steward Terry Bailey confirmed today that stewards had two on-going investigations - the Smoking Aces scandal involving Nikolic and the allegation against Oliver that he made a bet on a horse in a race that he rode another runner.
RVL chief executive Rob Hines also confirmed that the race involving Miss Octopussy was the subject of a stewards' investigation.
"That investigation is on-going and thus we’ll be making no further comment on it at this time," Hines said in a statement.
"The race involving Smoking Aces is subject to a police investigation and a stewards' investigation, both of which are continuing, and thus we won’t be making any further comment on it at this time.
"The allegations made regarding jockeys Craig Newitt and Jim Cassidy appear not to be current information. They are of interest to us though and we intend to look into both matters."
Leading owner Lloyd Williams moved immediately to distance himself from the Oliver allegations when he this morning dumped the jockey as rider of Green Moon in the Cox Plate on October 27. Oliver had been confirmed as rider of the imported horse less than 24 hours earlier.
Williams refused to comment today other than to confirm that Craig Williams had decided to dump last Saturday's beaten Caulfield Guineas favourite Pierro as a Cox Plate mount so as to take up the Green Moon ride.
Pierro's trainer Gai Waterhouse said she will not decide on riders for three-year-olds Pierro and Procir for another two days. She said that there were only about five riders who could ride either colt at weight-for-age at 49.5kgs and so will weigh up her options over the next few days.
She confirmed both Pierro and More Joyous, who was beaten as favourite in the Toorak Handicap, had pulled up well and were on track to run in the Cox Plate.