Legendary Jockey Damien Oliver’s Farewell Triumph at Ascot Racecourse
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Legendary Jockey Damien Oliver’s Farewell Triumph at Ascot Racecourse

Ascot Racecourse Bids Farewell to Legendary Jockey Damien Oliver

In a fairytale end to his illustrious 35-year career, renowned jockey Damien Oliver rode Munhamek to a stunning victory in the Damien Oliver Gold Rush at Ascot Racecourse in Perth, Western Australia, on Saturday. The 51-year-old champion, originally from Western Australia, celebrated the triumphant win in front of his family and friends, capping off a perfect day that saw him clinch the final three races he contested, including earlier wins aboard Devine Belief and Magnificent Andy.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to finish it,” Oliver expressed, reflecting on the extraordinary victory. “It was death or glory at the top of the straight, and I had a bit of confidence in this horse – he could take the gaps when they came. It’s a great win, an unbelievable feeling. I couldn’t think of a better way to finish it off.”

Oliver’s decorated career includes an impressive tally of three Melbourne Cup wins (Doriemus in 1995, Media Puzzle in 2002, and Fiorente in 2013), four Caulfield Cups, two Cox Plates, and a Golden Slipper, cementing his status as Australia’s greatest ever rider. However, the journey to the top has been fraught with personal tragedies, including the loss of his father, Ray, in a race fall in 1975 and the devastating death of his brother, Jason, in a similar incident in 2002, just days before Oliver’s remarkable Melbourne Cup victory.

In a poignant moment, Oliver blew a kiss to the memory of his late brother after crossing the finish line in 2002, an iconic image that has become etched in Australian sporting history. Additionally, Oliver himself faced a brush with mortality in 2005 when he suffered a broken spine in a fall at Moonee Valley, but his resilience and determination saw him eventually return to the saddle.

As Oliver bids farewell to his illustrious career, Ascot Racecourse and the broader racing community have bid him an emotional and well-deserved farewell, with the veteran jockey acknowledging the overwhelming support and the “biggest crowd” he had ever seen at the venue.

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