Legendary jockey Damien Oliver has set the rumour mill alight after he was spotted at trackwork at Flemington.
After ending his career on a high in Perth in December — where he guided Munhamek to victory in the Damien Oliver Gold Rush at Ascot in his final race ride — Oliver was seen back in the saddle on Friday.
Reports have emerged that Oliver is attempting to get his fitness levels back up, and his sights are set on a short-lived return at the international jockeys’ series in Saudi Arabia at the end of the month.
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Racing expert Gareth Hall said the mail “coming out of Flemington” was to “watch this space”.
“There is a comeback on the horizon, he will make a comeback,” Hall said.
“I don’t know where but he’ll be making a comeback shortly, he is making his way back to the saddle and will be riding somewhere soon.”
Damien Oliver’s retirement day at Ascot followed a fairytale script. Credit: Sky Racing
Oliver confirmed the Saudi Arabia return, but said riding in the jockey’s series at Riyadh on February 23 and 24 was a “one-off”.
However, he will be available for other rides should they be offered.
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The racing icon has been enjoying retirement, eating and drinking what he wants, sleeping in, and was walking around at 58kg on Friday.
“Something out of the blue, the last few weeks, I got an offer to go ride at the Saudi Cup meeting, the International Jockeys Series there,” he told Ladbrokes.
“It’s kind of an offer too good to refuse, although it’s kind of bittersweet having having such a great finish to my career in Perth I wasn’t really planning on doing something like this.
“I wasn’t planning to do something like this, but something like this does not come along too often, so I thought I might as well have a crack as a one-off.
“It’s just a one-off. There are no plans of a comeback.
“I’m quite content the way things are going at the moment. I’ve been quite happy doing my work at Ladbrokes. I’ve been quite busy and enjoying sleeping in and eating and drinking what I like.
“I’ve slipped into the new lifestyle quite well.”
Oliver is following the lead of fellow former jockey Glen Boss, who came out of retirement to ride in the same jockey’s series in 2022.
The last time Oliver rode in the Middle East was in 1996 when he partnered Danewin in the Dubai World Cup behind the US super-star Cigar.
– With RAS Newswire