Australian jockey extraordinaire Damien Oliver is under fire after recent allegations by Fairfax Media pointed to him allegedly making a sizable bet of $10,000 on a rival horse at a horse racing event he himself was competing in. According to the information published by The Sunday Age, Oliver put a $10,000 bet on horse Miss Octopussy during a race back in late 2010, a discovery that was uncovered during a separate fixing probe centered on jockey Danny Nikolic and his horse Smoking Aces.
Understandably, the shocking allegations didn’t sit too well with Oliver, who immediately issued a statement effectively saying that his name is being sullied. In his statement, the 40-year old jockey 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 Fairfax 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.”
Fairfax Media’s allegations stemmed from police inquiries into race fixing that have implicated a number of jockeys, including Nikolic. In the case of Oliver, it’s alleged that he supposedly made a bet back in October 2010 on Miss Octopussy to win a race at Moonee Valley in Melbourne, Australia. Incidentally, Oliver also participated in that race, riding on the race’s second favorite, Europa Point.
While there have been no formal charges filed against Oliver, Racing Victoria Ltd chief steward Terry Bailey did acknowledge that investigations are being done on the issue. Likewise, RVL chief executive Rob Hines also confirmed that the race in question involving Miss Octopussy is also currently under investigation.
“That investigation is on-going and thus we’ll be making no further comment on it at this time,” Hines said in a prepared statement.
We’re not about to cast any aspersions on Damien Oliver without knowing the entire story behind these allegations. But if this holds up, this could be a damaging blow to the reputation of one of Australia’s finest horse jockeys.