Champion jockey Damien Oliver says he is looking forward to taking full advantage of other riders’ misfortune this Spring Carnival in Melbourne.
While it will be an unusual Spring Carnival without many international raiders, we are also unlikely to see any interstate jockeys like Hugh Bowman, James McDonald and Glen Boss contesting big Group 1 races in Victoria.
Nor will we see the suspended Jamie Kah or Ben Melham over the next three months, so Oliver says he will be aiming to take the bull by the horns.
“It’s definitely opened up a little bit more now without obviously the Sydney jockeys coming down and a few of the top jockeys being suspended for a few months,” he told Racing.com.
“There’s definitely more opportunities there for everyone I feel – not only the top jockeys.
“I feel everyone will probably move up the ranks a little bit and everyone will get some more opportunities.
“What looked like being really competitive and tough to get good rides a month ago, it’s probably going to be a lot more opportunities for more people now.”
Oliver is booked for the Australian Bloodstock-owned Gold Trip in this year’s Cox Plate and is also hoping to lock down a ride on potential superstar Anamoe should the colt head to Melbourne for the Caulfield Guineas.
The 122-time Group 1-winning hoop has a strong affiliation with the James Cummings-trained three-year-old having ridden Anamoe in his maiden win at Sandown last November, as well as placing in both the Blue Diamond Prelude and Blue Diamond Stakes.
“Nothing locked in yet, but I’d love to ride him when he comes down,” Oliver said.
“He’s always looked like he was going to make a nicer three-year-old.
“You saw what he did when he got out to 1400m in the Sires’ [Produce Stakes] in the autumn, and I think he’s even going to be better at the mile.”
Oliver has also captured some success aboard Anamoe’s stablemate Ingratiating, who he will partner once again in Saturday’s Listed Poseidon Stakes at Flemington over 1100m.
“He was brilliant first-up and he hasn’t gone backwards since then,” he said.
“I’ve been doing a bit of work with him since and really happy with the way he’s going.
“I’m looking forward to riding him on Saturday.”
A brilliant first-up win in the Group 3 Vain Stakes at Caulfield has seen the son of Frost open as a $2.70 favourite at Sportsbet for the Poseidon, where he will carry 58.5kg alongside Shaquero, Finance Tycoon, Home Affairs and Bruckner.