Champion jockey Damien Oliver is confident he will pass a fitness test this morning and be cleared to ride in the Australian Guineas at Flemington today after a nasty fall at Moonee Valley last night.
Oliver was taken to Epworth Hospital when West Australian sprinter Like An Eagle broke its leg at the 200m as it was challenging for the lead in the $100,000 The Drain Man Premium Handicap (1200m) which was won by Luck San ridden by Dwayne Dunn.
Racegoers looked on in horror as Oliver was speared into the turf and feared a repeat off when he sustained severe spinal injuries in a fall at Moonee Valley seven years ago.
On that occasion Oliver fractured several vertebrae and had to have titanium rods and screws inserted into his back but has bounced back to be riding as good as ever.
Oliver complained of general soreness to the paramedics after the fall and was given a medical clearance and released from hospital after x-rays cleared him of any bone damage but stewards told Oliver he would have to pass an official fitness test at Flemington this morning.
The top jockey has seven rides at Flemington today including the Mike Moroney trained Sabrage in the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Flemington was rated a Dead 4 this morning with a total of fourteen scratchings with no overnight rain.
The Australian Guineas remains a full field of sixteen with the four emergencies not gaining a start and the Peter Snowden trained Helmet remains the favourite at $3.40 with the filly Mosheen at $6 just ahead of That’s The One at $6.50.