Damien Oliver will miss ride on the highly rated French galloper Vadamos in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 after losing his appeal against a reckless riding suspension.
French trained Andre Fabre will have to search for another rider to replace Oliver who will commence his twenty meeting suspension after riding at the Caulfield Cup meeting on Saturday.
Oliver is booked to ride English import Exospheric for Lee and Anthony Freedman in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) and will be back to ride on Melbourne Cup day.
The two time Cox Plate winner will also miss the ride on the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained English in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate eve with Blake Shinn ready to take over the reins.
Trainer Mick Price will also have to replace Oliver on Flying Artie in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day, October 29, after the pair combined for a win in the Group 3 $350,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield last Wednesday.
It was on Flying Artie that Oliver found himself in trouble with the stewards who found him guilty of pushing out on the Artie Schiller colt at the 700m hampering Dean Yendall and Ken’s Dream.
Oliver appealed the reckless riding charge as well as the length of the suspension but the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board dismissed appeal on both counts.
Oliver said that he had been riding for over thirty years and was disappointed that the stewards charged him with reckless riding as opposed to the usual careless riding.
“I’ve been riding for 30 years and been around long enough to know the difference between careless and reckless,’’ Oliver said
“I was shocked to be honest (when he was charged).”
” I felt my alternative was to stay in behind the two Weir horses, which I explained, and be boxed in on an odds-on favourite and I just felt if I stayed there I wasn’t going to be giving my horse the best chance.
“So I pushed Dean Yendall out on Darren Weir’s horse but at no stage was he in any danger, he was never near heels.
“There was a little more contact than I anticipated because the horse in front of me didn’t drop down to the fence, which prior to it Blake Shinn looked down inside me and gave me indication he was going to cross over and that didn’t eventuate so it became more contact than I expected but I couldn’t believe it.”
Oliver had previously won the Cox Plate on Dane Ripper in 1997 for master trainer Bart Cummings and on Northerly for Fred Kersley in 2001.
Vadamos is a $15 chance to take on the mighty mare Winx who is the $1.90 favourite for the Cox Plate with Ladbrokes.com.au.
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, Sir Isaac Newton $61 Awesome Rock, Happy Clapper Jameka, Palentino, Happy Trails, He’s Our Rokkii, $81 or more the rest.