Jockey Damien Oliver has lost his appeal against a careless riding suspension leaving trainer Gai Waterhouse without a current jockey for her Australian Guineas 2015 hope Wandjina this weekend.
Oliver was found guilty of a careless ride aboard the Peter Moody-trained Armada from Caulfield’s Blue Diamond Stakes Day on Saturday, the Fastnet Rock colt running sixth to Rommel in the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m).
The hoop was handed an eight-meeting suspension that he appealed on Tuesday morning.
Only a day earlier his appeal against an unrelated 12-meeting suspension for the same offense last Thursday at Ballarat was successful.
Today however the stewards’ decision went against him and he won’t be free to ride until Sunday, ruling him out the Australian Guineas Day program at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday.
In the day’s marquee race, the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), he was down to stay on Waterhouse’s in-form Snitzel colt Wandjina, the jockey shooting for his third win in the race following success aboard Mr. Murphy (2001) and Flying Spur (1996).
Third to Shooting To Win in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last October, Wandjina enjoyed a first-up win at Flemington on February 21 in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) with Oliver in the saddle.
With Oliver now ruled out, Waterhouse must source another hoop that’s not already booked for another Australian Guineas rival for Saturday.
Australian Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are currently led at $3.80 by the Chris Waller-trained Kermadec, the Teofilo colt last seen running third to Hallowed Crown in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on the same day Wandjina won the CS Hayes.
Wandjina meanwhile occupies the fourth line of Australian Guineas betting at $8, the last of the single figure hopefuls to hand Waterhouse her second win in the event after her success with Al Maher (2005) a decade ago.
Plenty of other Australian Guineas jockeys are starting to take shape in the lead-up to Saturday’s three-year-olds’ event.
Among those confirmed are Dwayne Dunn partnering Barry Campbell’s Tasmanian raider Admiral who beat The Cleaner home on Launceston Cup Day last week, Steven Parnham who takes over his younger brother Chris on Perth visitor Rommel fresh off a Group 3 Zeditave Stakes win from last Saturday and champion Hong Kong hoop Douglas Whyte on standby for last Saturday’s Group 2 Autumn Classic winner Alpine Eagle from Adelaide.
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