$600 in Bonus Bets
Get your first bet matched with up to $600 in bonuses*
$500 Matched Deposit
Sign-up, deposit $500 & receive $500 in bonus bets. That's $1000 to bet with!*
Deposit $250, Bet with $550
Sign-up, deposit $250 & receive $300 in bonus bets. That's $550 to bet with!*
500% Deposit Bonus
Sign-up, deposit $20 & receive $100 in bonus bets. That's $120 to bet with!*
$500 Matched Deposit
Sign-up and get your first deposit matched with up to $500 in bonus bets*
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly

In a trembling voice and with tears in his eyes, Damien Oliver set out to salvage what he could of his career, his dignity and his reputation on Tuesday.

To an extent, he succeeded.

The career of one of Australia’s most successful jockeys of the past 25 years was put on hold by stewards for 10 months, but it will be resumed.

His dignity, too, has survived.

But the reputation he built with skill and courage on the back of a few thousand horses, and which he trashed with a single bet, still needs repairing.

Oliver has the next 10 months to think about a life that has taken some beatings and which for the past few weeks has been swinging in the breeze.

Oliver began his testimony by stating the obvious.

“I am a jockey,” he told the stewards who heard his case.

“I have been riding horses since 1988.”

Then, for the next five minutes, he revealed what wasn’t so widely known.

He spoke of a drinking problem, of how he had sunk to a low point when his wife took their three children and left him and of how he had suffered severe psychological problems.

He said it was worst period in his life.

Worse than dealing with the death of the older brother he buried the day after winning the 2002 Melbourne Cup on Media Puzzle, worse than the race fall that almost crippled him in 2005 and worse than wondering about his father who had also died in a racing accident before his son knew him.

“My wife took the children with her to Warrnambool …. I was living alone, I had a great sense of loss, it took away my self-belief …. everything,” Oliver said.

For Oliver the betting scandal he instigated by placing $10,000 on a rival horse in a race at Moonee Valley in 2010 has led him to focus on his achievements as well as his fallibility.

The two Melbourne Cups, the four Caulfield Cups, two Cox Plates, a Golden Slipper, eight Melbourne jockey’s titles and six Scobie Breasley medals for Victoria’s best rider – all of them are bound to be recalled and pondered.

Oliver has ridden winners around the world and in every state of Australia.

He came to Melbourne from Perth as a 16-year-old in 1989 to be apprenticed to Lee Freedman, the man who trained the horse he rode in the “bet race” at Moonee Valley in October 2010.

He was already the leading rider in Perth as an apprentice and the year after he came to Melbourne he was number one.

Until the latest incident, Oliver’s career was untainted by scandal or serious indiscretion.

“I want people to know,” he said on Tuesday, “that while I have admitted to this serious breach and can offer no excuses, I have never, ever, in my 24 years of racing, not tried my hardest to win when I am on the back of a horse.”

He may have to work hard to convince everyone of the truth of that assurance.

Hopefully he will remember it when he resumes race riding next September.

 
  • Deposit
    $500
  • Bet with
    $1000!
  • First deposit matched with up to $500 in Bonus Bets!*
  • Join now!
First deposit matched with up to $500 in Bonus Bets!*
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
  • DEPOSIT $500
    start betting
    with
    $1000*
    CLAIM NOW
  • first bet
    matched
    up to
    $600*
    CLAIM NOW
  • DEPOSIT $20
    start betting
    with
    $120*
    CLAIM NOW
  • DEPOSIT $250
    start betting
    with
    $550*
    CLAIM NOW
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
Featured News

Over $5,000 in Bonus Free Bets

Just Horse Racing provides readers with the best Free Bet offers available at every online bookmaker in Australia during the...

Caulfield Cup Field – 2018

View the final field for the 2018 Caulfield Cup The Caulfield Cup will be run on Saturday 20th October at...

Melbourne Cup contender dies after freak accident

The Charlie Appleby-trained Hamada hasbeen euthanised after fracturing a hind leg in a routine track gallop at Werribee. Hamada was...

Would Winx win the Melbourne Cup?

We take a look at the stats, figures and history of the Melbourne Cup to see if Champion mare Winx...

Melbourne Cup favourite in doubt after injury

The Charlie Appleby-trained Cross Counter has suffered a setback in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup. Cross Counter, who is...

 
 
 
Copyright © 2018 Just Horse Racing.
All rights reserved - Privacy Policy

Gamble Responsibly 18+
*State exclusions apply to some offers. Please check T&Cs of each offer with the bookmaker. All Offers Exclude NSW residents.