The rumour mill went into overdrive at Sandown races today as news spread about the reason behind Oliver not riding his three mounts today and as to why he is being investigated by the Victorian Police.
CHAMPION hoop Damien Oliver, who is embroiled in a police investigation, has forgone his rides at today’s Sandown meeting.
Oliver’s manager, Mark Van Triet, contacted Racing Victoria Limited stewards to inform them his client would not be fulfilling any of his three rides.
Bailey declined to elaborate on the reason given by Oliver.
He said Oliver would not be required to provide a medical certificate before he next rode.
Oliver is scheduled to ride at Friday night’s Group 1 meeting at Moonee Valley.
The 38-year-old is helping police with their inquiries into a criminal investigation and agreed to meet detectives on Monday.
He has not been charged with an offence but the probe could interfere with his preparations for this year’s Spring Racing Carnival.
Geelong Supt Peter O’Neill said Oliver had spoken to police and investigations were continuing.
Insp Pat Whelan, from Geelong Police Station, also confirmed Oliver had spoken to detectives.
Oliver is a winner of 91 Group 1 races, a six-time Scobie Breasley medallist and an inductee of Australian Racing’s Hall Of Fame.
It is believed Racing Victoria has offered him counselling.
The matter is not related to the racing industry and the Herald Sun has chosen not to reveal its nature for legal reasons.
Acting on legal advice, Oliver would not comment when contacted by the Herald Sun. “I’ve got no comment to make,” Oliver said.
Specialist crime unit investigators, who interviewed Oliver, are speaking to several witnesses.
Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey said he had not been briefed about the probe.
“I’ve heard rumours,” he said.
“It’s difficult to comment until then. We have to find out the facts first.
“It’s in the hands of the police and if and when it becomes official we’ll deal with it then.”
RVL chief Rob Hines would not be drawn on the issue.
“I have one thing to say about this whole story and that’s ‘I have no comment on the circumstances surrounding these rumours that are about at the moment’,” Mr Hines said.
Victorian Jockeys’ Association chief Des O’Keeffe had no comment.
Speculation has been swirling around the racing industry across Australia and overseas.
His Melbourne Cup win on Media Puzzle in 2002 is one of the nation’s greatest sporting moments. It came just days after his brother, Jason, died after falling from a horse in Western Australia.
Oliver’s father, Ray, was also killed in a horse fall.
A film is being made about the inspirational victory on Media Puzzle.