Retirement ‘Starting To Hit Home’ For Ollie

Damien Oliver might still be rinsing out champagne from his Flemington sendoff last Saturday but his fellow jockey’s quickly turned their attention to taking the champions seat in the jockey’s room.

While it’s not yet known who will take the prized seat, Oliver said his competitors didn’t miss their chance to once get the upper hand on him.

“I was pretty soaked there for a while, I think the jockeys were happy to spray me down and maybe happy to see the end of us,” Oliver said from the MRC Foundation Golf Day on Monday.

“They certainly drenched me the jocks.

“I jumped straight in the shower afterwards I was freezing.”

Oliver landed a timely put for the cameras on the final hole at the Yarra Yarra Golf Club on Monday afternoon but admitted earlier that morning his retirement had started to sink in walking out of Flemington for the final time.

“When I woke up this morning it felt like we are getting closer to the end now,” he admitted.

“It is starting to hit home and the realisation there isn’t long to go.

“There is a little bit of nostalgia I think looking back over a long period of time and a long career but a lot of fond memories.

“It will be strange when I am not in that routine and going to the races.”

When asked to name his most fierce rival, the 52-year-old understandably over his long career struggled to name just one.

“There has been so many, probably Steven King in the early days,” he said.

“Brett Prebble and Craig Williams and we have great depth with the jockeys at the moment guys like Blake Shinn and Mark Zahra and I am sure I am going to miss someone… Ben Melham.

“There is a lot of fine riders there and the ranks are as strong as ever so I don’t think they will miss them too much.”

Oliver’s final day of Saturday metropolitan racing in Victoria comes at Caulfield on Saturday where he is looking for a sixth Thousand Guineas win aboard Vibrant Sun.

He is expected to ride Golden Mile or Vilana in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, an event he has won on six occasions.

Arkansaw Kid, Hercomesthestar, Indian Pacific, Brayden Star and Queen of the Ball are Oliver’s other rides on Saturday’s program.


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