Legendary Jockey to Ride His Final Melbourne Cup

Ben H / 2 November 2023

Damien Oliver will ride his final Melbourne Cup next Tuesday. The three-time Melbourne Cup winner will be hoping to tie with Bobbie Lewis and Harry White, who both have four Melbourne Cup wins when on board French import Alenquer during the jockey’s final spring carnival. Oliver rode the same horse during the Moonee Valley Gold Cup but finished ninth.

Alequer Hitting Form at the Right Time

The fourteen-time Scobie Breasley Medal winner thinks the French gelding can take him to a fourth Melbourne Cup victory and follow in the footsteps of the three previous horses with whom Oliver won the Melbourne Cup. The 51-year-old rode Doriemus to a Melbourne Cup triumph in 1995 and went on to win the 2002 and 2013 editions of the Melbourne Cup riding Media Puzzle and Fiorente.

Oliver, who was the winner of the inaugural Roy Higgins Medal in 2014, will ride his 32nd Melbourne Cup. He said he had faith in Alenquer, who was imported from Europe to Mike Moroney’s Flemington stables, as he was a Group 1 winner in Europe and “got the ability” to win.

Oliver praised Moroney for starting to unlock the key to Alenquer’s French temperament and said the horse was “hitting form at the right time,” expecting the gelding to run a good race.

Waterhouse Praises Oliver for his Ability to Lift Horses over the Line

Damien Oliver will ride his last race during the Perth summer carnival. He claims he has no regrets about retiring and was pretty happy it was his last race, but hoped he could “go out as a winner.”

Oliver’s last Melbourne Cup win came a decade ago riding a horse trained by Gai Waterhouse. When quizzed how she would feel if Oliver managed to beat her horses, Military Mission and Serpentine, on Tuesday, Waterhouse joked that she would punch him.

Waterhouse was full of praise for Fiorente, who she described as “a beautiful horse,” but also commended Damien for being able to “lift him over the line.” She said winning the 2013 Melbourne Cup was “very special” for her and it was “fantastic” to be part of the same team as Oliver.

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Ben H
Ben Harris is the Communications Manager for KRUZEY, an AFL expert, and writer. He has one daughter that he loves dearly and four children's books... [Read full bio]

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