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Champion jockey Damien Oliver in doubt for farewell Melbourne Cup ride after worrying diagnosis

  • Post category:UK Racing News
  • Reading time:9 mins read


  •  Alenquer has suffered a stone bruise on Sunday
  •  The gelding’s hoof will be closely monitored 
  •  Tuesday’s race is set to be Oliver’s 32nd and last

Legendary jockey Damien Oliver might not get the chance to ride in his final Melbourne Cup after Alenquer suffered a minor injury on Sunday morning. 

The $101 outsider is set to be Oliver’s final ride in Tuesday’s Group 1 3200-metre classic, but the gelding has suffered a stone bruise while doing trackwork.

A hoof pad will be applied for the next 24-hours and the horse will be examined again by vets on Monday as a part of mandatory pre-race inspections.

Trainer Mike Moroney faces a race against time, but is confident Alenquer will come good in time.

‘He seems fine. It’s minimal,’ Moroney said.

Damien Oliver might not get the chance to ride in his fairytale final Melbourne Cup after gelding Alenquer suffered a minor injury on Sunday morning

Alenquer (pictured) suffered a stone bruise and will be monitored closely

Alenquer (pictured) suffered a stone bruise and will be monitored closely 

‘It just depends on how long the bruise takes to come out. We have 48 hours, so we will just see how we go. It’s only a bruise.’

Oliver, 51, is determined to cap off an ­incredible career with his final Melbourne Cup on Alenquer – and Moroney is also exceited at the prospect.

‘It’ll be great to be a part of his fairy tale, wouldn’t it,’ Moroney said.

‘Don’t mind being a part of that. He’s had 31 rides and I’ve had 24 runners so we’re both seasoned.’

After announcing his retirement earlier in the year, Oliver told the Herald Sun this week that he’s daring to dream.

‘It’s good to get one on my last dance, you might call it,’ he said.

‘It’s much better to be a part of it than watching on the sidelines. You’ve got more chance of winning it if you’re in it … so it will be great to be a part of it.’

‘Obviously, winning the Lexus Melbourne Cup is quite life changing and to win it three times is very special to me,’ he said.

The race on Tuesday is set to be Oliver's last Melbourne Cup and the 32nd of his career

The race on Tuesday is set to be Oliver’s last Melbourne Cup and the 32nd of his career

Oliver has the won the race three times and says he's an outside chance of winning it again

Oliver has the won the race three times and says he’s an outside chance of winning it again

‘They are all favourites, it’s a bit like your kids, it’s hard to separate them. They have all provided great memories for different reasons.

‘The last one a decade ago on Fiorente was obviously memorable, riding Gai’s first Cup winner.

‘But the win on Media Puzzle will always be exceptionally special to me, it was a very emotional time.

‘And of course, Doriemus, he was an amazing horse who gave me both the Melbourne Cup and the Caulfield Cup in one year.’

Oliver has faced more than his fair share of tragedy in the sport, with both his father and brother dying in race falls while riding horses.

Oliver lost his brother just days before the 2002 Melbourne Cup, which Oliver astonishingly won on Irish stayer Media Puzzle.

In one of the most memorable moments in Aussie sporting history, Oliver blew a kiss to his late brother after he crossed the line.

‘You just couldn’t script that sort of thing,’ Oliver told Nine’s The Heart of Racing podcast of the incredible win.

‘It was really a sad time for me firstly, losing your brother, and that’s my main memory of it, more so the sadness of losing my brother rather than winning the Cup.

‘That was a tribute to him and something I’m glad I was able to pull off, particularly looking back on it now. At the time it was full of sadness, losing him in that week leading up to the Cup.’



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