Embattled jockey Damien Oliver has collected his second Group One win for the Melbourne Cup carnival after Happy Trails prevailed in a three-way finish to the $1 million Emirates Stakes at Flemington.
Oliver has continued to ride amid calls for him to be banned after allegations surfaced in Fairfax Media that he placed a $10,000 bet on a rival horse in a race two years ago.
In spite of his tumultuous spring, Oliver won the Victoria Derby last week on Fiveandahalfstar.
And his heart-stopping victory on Happy Trails on Saturday was his first in the rich mile race.
“This race had eluded me for my whole career so it’s great to finally win it,” Oliver said as he returned to scale.
Unplaced in the Cox Plate, Happy Trails raced between Fawkner and Secret Admirer in the run to the line.
The South Australian-trained galloper rallied to gain a photo verdict over Fawkner, denying this week’s Melbourne Cup-winning owner Lloyd Williams another Group One triumph.
Secret Admirer finished a close third, the same position she filled last year.
Happy Trails’ trainer Paul Beshara said the horse would be set for next year’s Doncaster Mile at Randwick.