Three times Melbourne Cup winner Damien Oliver will know tomorrow if he can fulfil his engagement to ride Vadamos in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.
Oliver’s appeal against a twenty meeting suspension for reckless riding he incurred at Caulfield on Wednesday will be heard by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board at 10am on Friday.
Racing Victoria stewards found Oliver guilty of reckless riding for moving out abruptly at the 700m on eventual winner Flying Artie in the Group 3 $350,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) causing Ken’s Dream with Dean Yendall on top to be hampered.
Oliver’s suspension was due to start at midnight on Saturday October 15, leaving him free to ride Lee and Anthony Freedman trained English import Exospheric, an $11 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au, in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield.
The Twenty meeting suspension would then keep Oliver out of the saddle until Melbourne Cup, November 1, when he could ride again.
Oliver will appeal against the reckless riding charge as well as the severity of the penalty and if his appeal is dismissed the champion jockey will also miss the rich Derby Day program at Flemington on October 29 as well and Cox Plate Day at Moonee Valley.
Oliver pleaded not guilty to the Stewards’ charge of reckless riding and immediately said he would lodge an appeal.
“I won’t be pleading guilty to reckless riding, that’s for sure,’’ Oliver said.
“I’m sure it was not reckless. Dean Yendall was never near heels and never in danger.’’
Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey said the Oliver clearly pushed out at the 700m causing severe interference to Dean Yendall and Ken’s Dream.
“Your actions passing the 700m showed a clear sign of intent to come out and your actions are in our view reckless, outing the safety of both Dean Yendall and Ken’s Dream at high risk,’’ Bailey said.
Oliver responded “I’m stuck on the fence behind stablemates on a short-priced favourite, you and the punters would be asking “what are you doing?’’
The Andre Fabre trained Vadamos is on the third line of betting for the Cox Plate at $15 with Ladbrokes.com.au behind the hot pot Winx at $1.90 and the in-form Hartnell at $3.
Early Cox Plate market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.90 Winx, $3 Hartnell, $15 Vadamos, Yankee Rose, $17 Lucia Valentina, $18 Black Heart Bart, Hauraki, $51 Sacred Elixir, $61 Awesome Rock, Happy Clapper Jameka, Palentino, Happy Trails, He’s Our Rokkii, $81 or more the rest.