Damien Oliver has forfeited his rides at Mornington today and Caulfield tomorrow in a bid to ride Royal Descent in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington next Saturday after being suspended at Moonee Valley last night.
Oliver pleaded guilty of causing interference at the winning post the first time in the Group 3 $200,000 Alternate Railway JRA Cup (2040m) when he allowed his mount Mr Moet to shift in forcing Dean Yendall to check Talent Show.
Stewards succumbed to Oliver’s request to begin the ten meeting suspension immediately as he sort releases from his one ride at Mornington today and five mounts at Caulfield tomorrow including the Gerald Ryan trained Charlie Boy, one of the main chances in the Group 3 $175,000 BECK Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
As it stands, Oliver can resume riding after midnight October 6, but he will appeal to the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board against the severity of the suspension in a bid to have it reduced by at least two meetings to enable him to be free for the gun ride on the Chris Waller trained Royal Descent next Saturday.
Royal Descent is currently the second favourite for the Group 1 $2.65m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19 at $7.50, just behind stable mate Hawkspur at $7, and a win in the Turnbull Stakes on the Australian Oaks winner would put him in a good position for the Caulfield Cup ride.
Oliver has been quick getting back into winning form since returning to the saddle on September 13 after serving eight months disqualification and two months suspension for placing a $10,000 bet on Miss Octopussy back in October 2010.
Last night at Moonee Valley Oliver was at his vintage best booting home a treble, Lord Belfort for trainer Mick Price, Vibrant Rouge for Glenn Thornton and Divine Calling in one of the feature races of the night, the Group 2 $220,000 City Jeep Stutt Stakes (1600m).
Oliver was also at his stony best in the stewards room defending his win on Divine Calling after Craig Williams on Shamus Award fired in a protest against the Gai Waterhouse three year old following a bumping duel over the final fifty metres.
Racing New South Wales chief steward Ray Murrihy disagrees with Racing Victoria’s approach to jockey’s suspension which allows them to choose when that will sit out their time.
“Suspensions are not at the convenience of the jockey,” Murrihy said on Sky Sports Radio.
“That takes away the deterrent of the situation.
“I don’t support that situation at all.”