Oliver targets Cup win
Damien Oliver believes that he has been handed a "great opportunity" having picked up the ride on Americain in next week's Melbourne Cup.
Last Updated: 31/10/12 9:52am
Damien Oliver believes that he has been handed a "great opportunity" as he prepares for the ride on Americain in Tuesday's Emirates Melbourne Cup.
The legendary Australian jockey has been engulfed in controversy of late over allegations he placed a bet on a rival horse to beat one he was riding in a race several years ago, but insisted it was "business as usual" when asked about whether his concentration had been affected .
This will be the 10-year anniversary of Oliver's last Melbourne Cup triumph, the highly-charged victory of Media Puzzle only a few days after the death of his brother Jason.
Although Gerald Mosse steered Americain to land the race two years ago, Americain's Australian owners decided to replace him with Oliver after the French pilot steered him to fourth behind his compatriot Dunaden in the recent Caulfield Cup.
"It would be a great feeling to win another Melbourne Cup," said Oliver, who put the horse through his paces on Wednesday morning.
"He's in great form. He's really bright and more imposing than from watching him from afar. I was really taken by his athleticism today. He's really light on his feet and he's got great acceleration.
"He's an amazing horse, he's obviously a Melbourne Cup winner, and it's a great opportunity."
Just as Dunaden's rider Craig Williams fears Americain the most, Oliver returned the compliment when assessing his dangers.
"I think probably Dunaden obviously and probably a few of the horses that didn't run in the Caulfield Cup," he said.
"There are some of the internationals, if they do get into the field. I respect Dunaden a lot."