Top Australian Jockey Oliver Gets 10-Month Ban for Bet on Rival

Australian jockey Damien Oliver was barred from racing for 10 months after he pleaded guilty to two charges involving a bet he made on a rival horse that won a race in which he was riding.

Oliver, 40, a two-time Melbourne Cup-winning rider, was disqualified for eight months and suspended a further two months after placing the A$10,000 ($10,400) bet via a third party and using a mobile phone in the jockeys’ room prior to the Oct. 1, 2010, race at Moonee Valley in Melbourne, Racing Victoria said after a hearing today.

“I want to apologize to the racing industry and everyone here today,” Oliver said in a televised statement at Racing Victoria’s Melbourne headquarters. “I’m deeply sorry for my actions.”

Oliver provided the committee overseeing the investigation with a written admission Nov. 12 that he placed the bet on race favorite and eventual winner Miss Octopussy. Oliver’s horse, Europa Point, finished in sixth place.

Oliver, who was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2008, has completed the so-called grand slam of thoroughbred racing in the country by winning the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper.

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