Americain’s owner Gerry Ryan has full confidence in embattled jockey Damien Oliver and is certain he will give his Melbourne Cup hope every chance to win at Flemington today.
There has been suggestions that Oliver should be stood down from riding after it was reported that he admitted to a stewards’ inquiry to placing a $10,000 bet through a third party on Miss Octopussy in the same race that he rode Europa Point at Moonee Valley in October 2010.
But Ryan is sticking by Oliver knowing that he is still in the right frame of mind after riding Fiveandahalfstar to win the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington last Saturday.
“Damien did call us and explain to both Kevin and I that this was going to come up,” Ryan said.
“He also said that he is focused and won’t let us down.”
“If you have a look at his track record last Saturday, I said to him just keep those Group Ones coming.”
“I’ll leave it to the stewards. But all I know is that hopefully he can bring home Americain today.”
While press reports are saying Oliver has admitted to having the bet, Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey said that he hasn’t had confirmation of that as he is not sitting in on the inquiry and won’t stand Oliver down from riding.
“We don’t know that. That’s a matter for the panel of stewards that are hearing the investigation,” Bailiey said.
“What I’m being told is there are other people that need to be questioned further and until such time that that’s happened they’re not prepared to wrap up their findings.
“As I said, the laws of the land say procedural fairness must prevail.”
French stayer Americain has eased slightly in the betting and after being favourite for the Melbourne Cup since Oliver was booked to ride last week is now at $8 with 2011 winner Dunaden and English galloper Mount Athos sharing the top spot at $7.
Last year’s runner-up Red Cadeaux is next in the betting at $9 with Galileo’s Choice and Maluckyday sharing the next line of betting at $15 with Lights Of Heaven at $18.