Damien Oliver will ride Alenquer in the 2023 Melbourne Cup, after the six-year-old passed a vets inspection early this morning.
It had been feared, Oliver, who has announced his retirement from riding would not ride in the Melbourne Cup, because of a stone bruise on Alenquer’s hoof.
But the six-year-old gelding was given the green light by stewards and now Oliver will be given the opportunity to add to his three Melbourne Cups.
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Alenquer is a $41 shot to win the Melbourne Cup with Ladbrokes, with Vauban remaining firm at around the $4.40 quote as race favourite.
“The gelding had improved significantly overnight and as a result was passed suitable to race,” Stewards said in a statement.
“Alenquer will also be inspected when he arrives on course as a precaution.”
The 51-year-old Oliver, a record-holder with 151 victories in Group 1 races in Australia, had remained cautiously optimistic about Alenquer’s chances.
“It’s just a timing thing. I spoke to the trainer this morning, and he’s quietly confident that he’ll get him there, but the next 24 hours will tell,” he said.
“By the morning of the race, by scratching time, we’ll know whether he’s fit or not.”
Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup will mark Oliver’s 32nd ride in the iconic event, which he has claimed three times in his illustrious career.
Oliver previously triumphed in the Melbourne Cup on Doriemus in 1995, Media Puzzle in 2002, and Fiorente in 2013.