The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Dual Melbourne Cup winning hoop Damien Oliver has secured a shot at adding a third ‘Loving Trophy’ to his collection having been booked to partner with 2010 champ Ameircain in the Melbourne Cup 2012 on Tuesday November 6.
Hall of Famer Oliver enjoyed his first win in the ‘race that stops a nation’ back in 1995 when partnering with the Lee Freedman-trained Doriemus.
He then rode his second Melbourne Cup winner in 2002 with the Dermot K Weld’s European raider Media Puzzle.
Now in 2012 the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) could again be Oliver’s as he prepares to ride star French galloper Americain in the famous Flemington feature.
The Alain de Royer Dupre-trained stallion took out the Melbourne Cup two years ago at just their second start down under and while they failed to defend their title in the race 12 months ago their last-to-fourth performance was far from discouraging.
Dynaformer eight-year-old Americain will again attempt to become a multiple Melbourne Cup winner this spring.
They returned to Aussie turf last Saturday with another eye-catching fourth behind last year’s Melbourne Cup hero, fellow French galloper Dunaden, when they charged home to cross just one and a half lengths off them in this year’s $2.65 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
After that effort Americain stormed up the Melbourne Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au and is now the $7.50 second favourite behind the defending Dunaden ($6).
In the Caulfield Cup Americain was ridden by his 2010 Melbourne Cup jockey Gerald Mosse but Aussie connections have opted to replace the international jockey in favour of Oliver who has never been aboard the horse.
“Gerald’s done a great job in the past,” co-owner Gerry Ryan said.
“But, after taking advice from analysts and other racing people, we felt we needed an Australian jockey.
“Damien’s record speaks for itself and we believe he can get the job done.”
Originally Oliver, at the centre of a controversial stewards’ investigation for a betting scandal, was booked to partner the Luca Cumani-trained Quest For Peace ($21) but was relieved from that association after reports of the investigation came to light.
Oliver, who held his head up and won the Group 1 Thousand Guineas with Commanding Jewel only a few days after losing the Quest For Peace ride, was also stripped of the ride aboard the Lloyd Williams-owned Green Moon for today’s $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley – the Turnbull Stakes winner now the $4.60 Cox Plate betting favourite over Pierro ($5) at bookmaker.com.au.
He can now refocus however and set his eyes on the Melbourne Cup prize.
“It’s a great opportunity to ride a horse of Americain’s calibre in the Melbourne Cup,” Oliver, who will ride the horse for the first time in a track gallop next Wednesday, said.
“I think he can win the race.
“I’m very grateful that people of Gerry Ryan and Kevin Bamford‘s standing would give me this opportunity.
“Hopefully I can repay their faith in me in spades.
“He’s such an imposing horse and from what I hear from the camp, he’s still improving.
“I’m very excited about riding him in the Cup.”
Whatever horse you’re backing to win the Melbourne Cup 2012 ensure you lock them in at the best prices by betting online with bookmaker.com.au who will also be offering ‘Pick Your Own Odds’ on Flemington Race 7 once the Melbourne Cup final field is announced next Saturday.
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