Damien Oliver Australian Jockey
Damien Oliver Truly Gifted Rider
Damien Oliver: Horse Racing is a sport featuring a partnership betwixt a human and a horse and is therefore rife with opportunities to debate which plays the more important role.
The answer to this query can at time be obvious, such as when a horse produces victories no matter who is aboard, or when a jockey enjoys success without complete dependence on one or two exceptionally dominant thoroughbreds.
This second possibility would seem to be the case when the subject of consideration is a rider by the name of Damien Oliver.
Born 22 June 1972 near Perth, Damien Oliver has the wins, prize money statistics and broad recognition from the racing community that come about only from a long record of producing consistently high results. In Brown’s case, that entails a period of more than 20 years.
The grand slam of Australian horse racing belongs to Damien Oliver courtesy of wins in the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, W.S. Cox Plate and the Golden Slipper Stakes.
There is a more than adequate chance that Damien Oliver can repeat this feat if one more Golden Slipper is in his future.
The numbers he has posted are almost ludicrous. Over 90 Group 1 wins. Close to 1000 career victories. Over $93 million in prize money. The 2008-09 season produced 115 wins.
Oliver has won in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Ireland and Hong Kong. Moonee Valley racecourse alone has seen him win over 200 times. Flemington has produced well beyond 100 and Caulfield even more.
Damien Oliver has ridden five winners during one meeting on at least six occasions since 2002. There have been four victories in one day in ten meetings.
The number of times he has won twice during one meeting is almost mind boggling. It is one thing to win repeatedly and earn the adulation of the racing public, but it is an altogether different matter to consider expert opinions from insider sources, such as the trainers with whom Oliver has worked.
Lee Freedman And Damien
He has won more than 200 races for Lee Freedman, another 60 plus for Mick Price, 30 for Peter Moody and more tah 20 for Tony McEvoy.
Very impressive is the fact that all of his victories are spread across a large pool of horses. Only Alinghi has supplied Oliver with double digit wins, specifically 10.
Damien Oliver is also been granted numerous awards and recognitions from his peers in both the ranks of fellow jockeys and those who make their living due to a keen knowledge and understanding of racing.
He has six Scobie Breasley medals to his credit along with his 2008 induction into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame that places him in the company of fewer than forty who have achieved that honour. The list continues with the Apprentice Jockey Championship for 1988-89 and six Melbourne Senior Jockey Premiership trophies.
As is often the case in any story centered on horse racing, there has been more than a fair share of tragedy and trauma associated with Damien Oliver’s career.
His father, Ray Oliver, was killed in a 1975 fall at Kalfoorlie when Damien was a mere lad of three.
Equally poignant would be the tale of his brother Jason’s racing death that occurred at Belmont Park in 2002, days before Damien was to ride in the 2002 Melbourne Cup. He rode that race in his brother’s memory and took the victory aboard Media Puzzle that brought tears to the eyes of race aficionados from around the world.
What A Record
A recent examination of Oliver’s record finds that his statistics continue to grow. 2012 supplied another six Group 1 wins to compliment 76 victories in the 2011 season and another 31 in the current season.
What the final tally will be when Damien Oliver finally retires is anyone’s guess, but it would seem that he has at least several seasons remaining to him and it would be more a questions of his resolve and desire to continue more than any other factor, save catastrophe, that will determine the final totals of this top jockey.