Oliver’s appeal dismissed, Waller needs new rider for Royal Descent

Trainer Chris Waller is on the lookout for a replacement rider for Royal Descent in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday after Damien Oliver’s appeal against a careless riding suspension was dismissed.

Australian Oaks winner Royal Descent is without a rider for the Turnbull Stakes.

Australian Oaks winner Royal Descent is without a rider for the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington. Photo by Steve Hart.

Oliver appealed against the severity of the ten meeting suspension at today’s hearing with the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in a bid to have it reduced by at least two meetings to enable him to be free for the gun ride on the Royal Descent in the Turnbull Stakes.

Stewards outed Oliver on Friday night after he 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.

Oliver can now resuming riding after October 6 and Waller has cast a wide net looking for a suitable replacement.

The leading Sydney trainer hasn’t ruled out looking overseas with Corey Brown and Zac Purton’s names getting a mention.

“Who knows? We may look overseas and approach someone like Corey Brown or Zac Purton,” Waller told AAP.

“Whoever it is, she will have a good jockey come Saturday.”

Brown was the mare’s regular rider in her early preparations, riding her to a maiden win at Canterbury in December last year.

He also ride her twice in the Autumn before taking up a contract to ride in Singapore alllowing Nash Rawiller to take over and claim the Group 1 $550,000 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick in April by a whopping ten lengths.

And Purton has firmly established himself as a world class rider in Hong Kong over the last six years and has been runner up in the jockey’s premiership behind Douglas Whyte for the last two seasons.

Waller said that he won’t rush into making a riding engagement and will just see how Royal Descent works in the morning.

“We’re not panicking,” Waller said.

“I’ll see how she works tomorrow before anything else.

Waller looks likely to have three runners in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes with Foreteller and Hawkspur among the thirty-one nominations for the high quality 2000m Spring Carnival feature.

Top Melbourne jockey Craig Newitt will again be aboard Foreteller after the pair combined to win the Group 1 $350,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 7 before finished twelfth to It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21.

While Michael Walker will be the new boy on Hawkspur after regular rider Jim Cassidy elected to stay in Sydney to partner Golden Rose winner Zoustar in the Group 2 $175,000 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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