A number of confirmed Melbourne Cup 2012 jockeys have kicked off this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival in fine style with a Group 1 win on Victoria Derby Day including Damien Oliver.
Oliver scored his fourth Victoria Derby victory from 20 rides in the three-year-old’s classic this year guiding Anthony Cummings’ $41 roughie Fiveandahalfstar to victory in the $1.5 million race.
It was an emotional win for Oliver, 40, as it has been 10 years this week since his brother Jason Oliver died in a training accident just days before Damien’s win in the 2002 Melbourne Cup aboard Media Puzzle.
“This couldn’t have started the week any better,” Oliver said after the Derby win.
“It’s my brother’s 10th year anniversary since we lost him and it’s great to ride a winner on his anniversary.”
This year Oliver will ride another highly-rated international having secured the mount aboard 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain.
“I’d love to win another one got a great chance in Americain,” the experienced hoop said.
The Alain de Royer Dupre-trained stallion, who ran a brave fourth to fellow French raider Dunaden in last year’s Melbourne Cup, began their 2012 Cup campaign with another fourth to Dunaden this time in the Caulfield Cup on October 20.
For that run they were ridden by their regular jockey Gerald Mosse who the horse’s Australian connections have decided to replace with Oliver in the 152nd Melbourne Cup next Tuesday.
In the latest Melbourne Cup odds Americain leads the markets at a quote of $6 over Dunaden ($7) and the Luca Cumani-trained Mount Athos ($8).
Another in-form jockey that celebrated a Group 1 win on Derby Day ahead of Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup clash is then Michael Rodd who guided the Guy Walter-trained Appearance, also a $41 outsider, to victory in the $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m).
Rodd, who won the 2007 Melbourne Cup aboard the great grey galloper Efficient, is booked to ride last year’s runner-up Red Cadeaux.
Ed Dunlop’s British galloper went down in the closet Melbourne Cup finish in history 12 months ago and is reportedly on track and in better form this time round, the seven-year-old currently paying $9 in the Melbourne Cup betting markets.
“He’s not a bad ride at all,” Rodd said of Red Cadeaux after the Myer win.
“Hopefully I’m talking to you on Tuesday!”
2012 Melbourne Cup final acceptances are due to close at 4:30pm (AEST) this afternoon with the official 24-horse Melbourne Cup field to be announced soon after.
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