Racing Victoria officials are remaining tightlipped about allegations champion jockey Damien Oliver has admitted to betting on a rival horse in a race in which he was riding.
An investigation was launched last month when the allegations surfaced and Fairfax Media reported Oliver had admitted to the panel investigating whether a $10,000 bet was placed on his behalf on Miss Octopussy two years ago.
Racing Victoria chief executive Rob Hines would not comment on the ongoing affair other than to say he expected the investigation to be completed in the next week or so.
Hines also called on the government to give stewards more power to stand down jockeys suspected of wrongdoing.
“Racing Victoria would welcome a wider stand-down power for the stewards or police that could be used when there is information to support the need to avert a serious risk to the integrity of racing,” Hines said.
Victorian racing minister Denis Napthine said in a statement Racing Victoria operated separately from the government and it would be inappropriate for him to comment.
“In the same way that it would be totally inappropriate for the Police Minister to comment on ongoing investigations or the Attorney-General to comment on ongoing court cases, it would be totally inappropriate for me to comment on this investigation until it has concluded,” Napthine said.
The news of the investigation caused Oliver to be sacked from the Lloyd Williams-owned Green Moon in the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.
He since picked up the ride on favourite Americain in Tuesday afternoon’s Melbourne Cup.
Some owners and trainers have stuck by the jockey with Oliver winning the Thousand Guineas on Commanding Jewel and Saturday’s Victoria Derby on Fiveandahalfstar.