Guineas joy for Oliver

Sportal October 17, 2012, 4:38 pm
Commanding Jewel

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Veteran jockey Damien Oliver has won a record fifth Thousand Guineas, riding the Leon Corstens-trained Commanding Jewel to victory at Caulfield on Wednesday.

Oliver has been at the centre of controversy this week regarding allegations he bet on a horse he was not riding in a race he was involved in but shrugged off any pressure to comfortably win the Group 1 race at Caulfield.

Oliver found an alley in the straight and let Commanding Jewel fly home in the final furlong to win by two lengths from Dear Demi and Zydeco.

After the race, trainer Leon Corstens claimed the result proved him right for sticking with 40-year-old Oliver on Commanding Jewel, the half-sister of 2011 Thousand Guineas winner and unbeaten mare Atlantic Jewel.

"Look he's the best rider in Australia, so why would you have second thoughts?" Corstens said.

Oliver thanked Corstens for sticking with him after other trainers had taken rides away following the betting rumours.

"I can't thank Leon enough," Oliver said.

"There wasn't a better looking horse in the yard and he's (Corstens) having a great run, he's a great trainer."

The Western Australian jockey, who has professed his innocence throughout the week, claimed he had not felt any extra pressure heading into the feature race.

"I've been through a lot worse than this and we'll come through this alright," Oliver said.

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