Leading jockey Damien Oliver produced one of the best rides of his remarkable career to pilot Black Tycoon to victory in the 2014 Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot yesterday.
Black Tycoon was caught behind a wall of horses coming into the straight and looked as though he would be blocked for a run, but Oliver patiently waited for his chance and the Blackfriars gelding exploded when given an opportunity.
The eight-year-old hit the front with less than fifty metres left to run and pressed clear of outsider God Has Spoken and Fred Kersley-trained Ask Me Nicely to give trainer Justin Warwick his first ever victory in the Perth Cup.
“I was terribly panicking around the turn and up the straight and I thought that we weren’t going to get out,” Warwick told the media after the race.
“I wasn’t feeling too good at the 400 but I just knew that he can get the trip without any worry.
“Everything worked out well; he is a beautiful horse to train but there is a big margin for error unlike the average horse.
“I wouldn’t have wanted to swap him for any other horse at the weights at this distance and it has worked out.
“It is fantastic and it is a really humbling experience.”
Oliver was celebrating his second career victory in the Perth Cup, after winning the 2008 edition of the race with Cat’s Fun, and admitted that he thought that he was in a bit of trouble with 400 metres left to run in the race.
“We had a nice run in the race but they did stack up a bit in the turn,” Oliver said.
“I didn’t have anywhere to go but I had a lap full of horse and as soon as the runs started to come he really forced his way through and had a big kick for me.
“I dropped down to the fence early and I didn’t spend any in the run so I had plenty to give but just needed a bit of room to give it.
“All credit to Justin, it was a great training effort and he had the horse spot on.”
Oliver has been in remarkable form since returning from suspension at the start of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, winning the 2013 Melbourne Cup with Fiorente, but said that returning home to win the Perth Cup meant just as much to him as any other win.
“It is almost as big a thrill as winning the Melbourne Cup, winning your home town Perth Cup and there is a great crowd here today,” the leading jockey said.
“This is where it all started for me and it is wonderful come here and do it.”