Australian jockey Damien Oliver has described allegations that he backed a rival horse in a race in which he was riding as “hurtful”.
The 40-year-old, who is best known in Britain for riding Dermot Weld’s 2002 Melbourne Cup winner Media Puzzle, has been accused of using a third party to put AUS 10,000 on Miss Octopussy in a race at Moonee Valley in October 2010.
The filly duly won the race and Oliver has described the claims as “damaging”.
In a statement to The Age, Oliver said: “I’ve been a jockey for 24 years. My record and reputation show me to be honest, committed and trustworthy.
“With regards to the allegations made in the media this morning, I cannot and will not be making any comment, other than to say allegations such as these are damaging and hurtful ... and that everyone, myself included, should have the right to a due process being followed here.
“With that in mind, I’d request that my rights in this area be respected.
“That is all I have to say at this time.”
The allegation follows police inquiries into race fixing that have affected several jockeys, including the recently disqualified Danny Nikolic, and are being investigated by racing stewards.
Racing Victoria have confirmed Miss Octopussy’s race is the subject of an inquiry, along with a race in which Nikolic rode a horse called Smoking Aces.
RVL chief executive Rob Hines said in a statement: “That investigation is on-going and thus we’ll be making no further comment on it at this time.
The race involving Smoking Aces is subject to a police investigation and a stewards’ investigation, both of which are continuing, and thus we won’t be making any further comment on it at this time.“
Oliver was due to ride the Luca Cumani-trained Quest For Peace, who runs with the prefix ’My’ in Australia, in Saturday’s Caulfield Cup but connections have announced he is no longer in line for the mount.
Owners OTI Racing tweeted: “Corey Brown will ride My Quest For Peace in next Saturday’s Caulfield Cup.”