Last Updated on 18 December 2023
Legendary jockey Damien Oliver has bowed out a winner with a Gold Rush triumph that was nothing short of spectacular. Oliver retired in style by riding 8-year-old bay gelding Munhamek to victory and reminded fans why he is considered one of the best ever by winning the final three Ascot races.
In addition to triumphing aboard Munhamek, Oliver rode Devine Belief and Magnificent Andy to victories on the day. His strong finish aboard Munhamek in the final 50 metres of the Gold Rush was a particular highlight.
Death or Glory
Oliver told reporters that he couldn’t have thought of a better way to finish his racing career. The three-time Melbourne Cup winner said that it was “death or glory” at the end, but he had a lot of confidence in the horse and knew he could “take the gaps” when they came.
The 51-year-old praised Nick Ryan for doing “a great job” with the C.A. Hutchison, J.S.L. Tan & A.H. Fownes-owned horse, saying all he needed to do was point him in the right direction and that when the gaps came, Munhamek “worked his way through them well.” Ryan returned the compliments calling the jockey “the greatest.” He said he was “speechless” by Oliver’s “ballsy ride,” adding no one could have scripted that finish.
When Oliver was asked how he felt after participating in his last race, the decorated jockey with 2,805 career wins said it was “a bit of a relief” and that the crowd at Ascot, which he thought was the biggest he had ever seen, made the moment more special by giving him a wonderful reception. He was particularly overwhelmed by “the applause and roar” for his last three winners, adding he would never forget that.