2013 Emirates Melbourne Cup main race
2013 Emirates Melbourne Cup main race

Oliver looks to create history with fourth Cup

HAVING bettered a record he previously shared with the great Bobby Lewis on Saturday, Damien Oliver on Tuesday attempts to equal another, more famous, Lewis record.

If Mustajeer can win the Melbourne Cup, Oliver will join Lewis and Harry White on four wins in the great race.

Kerrin McEvoy also has the chance to join them, and he's riding the more-fancied Finche.

Oliver's three wins have all come on well-fancied runners; Doriemus was an $11 shot in 1995, Media Puzzle started the $6.50 second favourite and Fiorente was $7 favourite in 2013.

Interestingly, Oliver said the Cup he went into with most confidence was one he was beaten in.

"When I got beaten on Pop Rock (in 2006)," he said when asked which horse he liked most before the race.


Damien Oliver punches the air after winning the 2013 Melbourne Cup on Fiorente. Picture: Wayne Ludbey
Damien Oliver punches the air after winning the 2013 Melbourne Cup on Fiorente. Picture: Wayne Ludbey


"I thought I would get there, but I couldn't catch the other Japanese runner (Delta Blues) unfortunately."

He's had better chances on paper than Mustajeer, but he does feel the import has improved since the pair finished sixth in last month's Caulfield Cup.

"We've got a chance in a very tough race. There's so many Europeans in the race so it's hard to line up the form," he said.

"He ran well in the Caulfield Cup and I feel he's come on from that run after riding him on Friday."

The best part of 30 years after he emerged on the scene, Oliver is still at the top of the heap. Form analyst Ralph Horowitz produced a stat yesterday showing Oliver has had 35 rides on single figure chances in Flemington staying races since Fiorente's 2013 Melbourne Cup for 15 wins - a 43 per cent strike rate versus 21 per cent market expectations.

He believes Warning is a galloper that is capable of winning a few more staying features after dominating the Derby.

"Some of the owners asked me how he would line up against Vow And Declare, and I said I think he's a bit ahead of him at the same stage," Oliver said

"I managed to win the 1800m race on Oaks day last year on Vow And Declare and this horse (Warning) is a bit more forward at the same time.

"You would think the AJC Derby in the autumn would be a worthwhile goal to chase because he obviously handled the soft ground as well (on Saturday)."