Damien Oliver’s roller coaster Spring has hit another high after picking up the ride on French stayer Americain in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6.


Americain will be ridden by Damien Oliver in the Melbourne Cup. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Oliver’s Spring hit a low when it was announced that he was under investigation for allegedly placing a $10,000 bet through a third party on Miss Octopussy in the same race that he rode Europa Point at Moonee Valley in October 2010.

When the allegations surfaced, Oliver was dumped from Cox Plate second favourite Green Moon, being replaced by Craig Williams and was left without a ride in today’s $3m Group 1 weight for age championship over 2040m at Moonee Valley.

The Melbourne Cup winning jockey was also left on the sidelines at Caulfield after being replaced  by Corey Brown on My Quest Of Peace in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) last week.

But Oliver was quick to bounce back by steering Commanding Jewel to secure his fifth Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 17.

Oliver will be replacing French jockey Gerald Mosse who has been the regular rider of Americain and was aboard the Alain de Royer Dupre trained stayer in winning the 2010 Melbourne Cup.

Americain’s owners Kevin and Colleen Bamford and Gerry and Val Ryan have replaced Mosse after the eight year old had an interrupted run when fourth to Dunaden in the Caulfield Cup.

“Gerald’s done a great job in the past,” Gerry Ryan said.

“But, after taking advice from analysts and other racing people, we felt we needed an Australian jockey.

“Damien’s record speaks for itself and we believe he can get the job done.”

This is not the first time Mosse has been dumped from Americain and was replaced by Craig Williams in the Group 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 28 after the French jockey finished second to Manighar in the Group 1 $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill the start before.

Oliver was pleased to pick up the ride on Americain and thinks he has a great chance to add to his two Melbourne Cup victories on 1995 winner Doriemus and the Dermot Weld trained Media Puzzle in 2002.

“It’s a great opportunity to ride a horse of Americain’s calibre in the Melbourne Cup,” Oliver said.

“I think he can win the race.

“I’m very grateful that people of Gerry Ryan and Kevin Bamford’s standing would give me this opportunity.

“Hopefully I can repay their faith in me in spades.”

Americain will now meet Dunaden 1kg better in the Melbourne Cup after the Caulfield Cup winner was penalised for the win and will now carry 59kg after both French stayers were originally handicapped with 58kg for Flemington.

Dunaden still heads the Melbourne Cup markets at $7, just ahead of Americain at $8 with the Luca Cumani trained Mouth Athos at $9 and English stayer Red Cadueax at $12.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.