Damien Oliver to ride Durston in 2022 Melbourne Cup

Durston wins Caulfield Cup
Durston (GB) ridden by Michael Dee wins the Caulfield Cup. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Having been ridden to Group 1 glory in the Caulfield Cup by Michael Dee, the Chris Waller-trained Durston will have Damien Oliver on board in the 2022 Melbourne Cup.

Dee had already committed to riding the winner of The Bart Cummings, the Grahame Begg-trained Lunar Flare, in the Flemington feature on November 1.

Oliver was touted to ride Sheraz in this year’s Melbourne Cup, but the Waller stable advised Racing Victoria stewards that the horse had pulled a muscle in behind and would be going for a break instead.

Arguably one of the greatest jockeys of all time, Oliver will be looking to add a fourth Melbourne Cup to his impressive record having paired with Doriemus (1995), Media Puzzle (2002) and Fiorente (2013) to win the race that stops a nation.

Only four-time champions Bobby Lewis and Harry White have ridden more winners of the 3200m Group 1 than Oliver.

Durston was nothing short of impressive when claiming the Caulfield Cup on October 15 and is a runner who looks like he will appreciate the big surroundings of Flemington and stepping out to the 3200m.

Having won the Wyong Cup and Newcastle Cup earlier in his campaign, Durston showed his Group 1 potential with a sixth-place finish in The Metropolitan the start prior to his success in the $5 million feature at Caulfield.

Durston emerged as a Melbourne Cup opportunity for Oliver after he was penalised 2kg by Racing Victoria handicappers for his Caulfield Cup win, taking his Melbourne Cup weight to 53.5kg.

Some online bookmakers have Durston as a $15 chance to complete the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup double, which no horse has achieved since Ethereal in 2001.

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