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Damien Oliver

Champion jockey Damien Oliver will miss the first $1 million race of the new racing season after being handed a 14 meeting suspension at Sandown.

Oliver’s ban begins after Caulfield on Saturday and he doesn’t return until September 3, a day after the Group One Memsie Stakes meeting at Caulfield.

He pleaded guilty, with mitigating circumstances, to causing interference aboard Redcore in the Sheamus Mills Bloodstock Handicap.

Stewards charged Oliver with shifting in onto Esperance (Craig Williams) near the 900m which resulted in Secret Reward (Brad Rawiller) being severely crowded and The Sword (Aaron Lynch) severely checked.

Oliver told stewards he had been used by Williams aboard odds-on favourite Esperance, who won the race, and blasted his fellow jockey.

“It was a selfish act,” Oliver said.

“He’s put two riders inside us in a dangerous position just for the sake of not being stuck three deep.

“You guys (stewards) aren’t in a position to hear what goes on in the jockeys room, but I haven’t had one jockey in the room say I wasn’t stitched up.

“I’ve got no reason to put those guys in that situation in a race like this.

“Craig’s call was late. If he had called earlier I could have done something sooner.”

Chief steward Terry Bailey said stewards took into consideration Oliver’s guilty plea and the circumstances put forward regarding Williams.

“But we can’t get past that you were never clear of him,” Bailey said.

Redcore was relegated from fourth to fifth after stewards entered an objection on behalf of connections for the interference.

Oliver has eight rides, including Group One winner Vega Magic in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes, at Caulfield on Saturday.

Have Your Say: Did stewards make the right call banning Damien Oliver? – Comment below

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