Ollie equals record aboard Order


Damien Oliver equalled legendary jockey Bobbie Lewis's longstanding record of 72 wins in the Melbourne Cup carnival when he won the last race of the week on Order Of Command for Danny O'Brien.

It was a typical ride from Oliver on the 7-1 sprinter who bounced from barrier one and responded to his calm, patient approach to win by a neck.

The 46-year-old won the Victorian Derby in 1992 on Redding and broke through to win the first of his three Melbourne Cups on Doremius in 1995.

He has remained a constant presence during the week, booting home his first winner this week on Oaks Day with Vow and Declare before winning the last race on Saturday.

Both winners were for O'Brien, who praised Oliver for his effort in matching Lewis's record.

"Champions in any sport, the big judge of them is their longevity," O'Brien said.

"I knew Damien when he was a 16-year-old, he was still mucking out (stalls) at the Freedmans. To be still at the top of his craft so many years later is a credit to him. We’re really pleased to keep winning with him."

Bobbie Lewis, who was still riding during the depression after dominating the scene in the 1920s, was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2002, having won four Melbourne Cups.

Oliver's competitive instinct has not dimmed and he landed in the stewards room after his ride in the Mackinnon Stakes earning a suspension for 10 meetings.

But he will be back next year with only bad luck likely to keep him away.

"I hope so. I’m still enjoying it. I’m not looking too far ahead. It’s a good way to finish the carnival off. We’ll see what happens in the future," Oliver said.

Story by Peter Ryan, to view full Age story click here

Pic by Darryl Sherer

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