Banned Oliver On Verge Of Return To Saddle

One of the most controversial disqualifications in Victorian racing ends at midnight on Friday when Damien Oliver is permitted to return to the world he once dominated.

But the champion rider must wait another two months before a further suspension is lifted allowing him to again ride competitively.

Oliver was banned from all involvement in the sport after pleading guilty to placing a $10,000 bet on a horse that won a race in which he was riding in October, 2010.

The penalty imposed led to heavy criticism of the system that allowed Oliver to bargain with authorities before a public hearing was held and of the perceived lenience of the penalty.

But it is all likely to be forgiven as one of the most successful riders of modern times prepares to return to the saddle.

Oliver’s first “ride” since being disqualified will be at trainer Leon Corstens private track at Romsey, north of Melbourne, on Monday.

Among the horses he will handle will be Commanding Jewel on whom he won the Group One Thousand Guineas in the spring.

Like her rider, Commanding Jewel has been sidelined for several months, but is reportedly over the injury that cost her an autumn campaign.

Oliver’s remaining suspension expires on September 13 and he is expected to ride in his first race since November 10 at Moonee Valley the next day.

Source : The Informant

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