Damien Oliver has been replaced by Frankie Dettori as the rider of highly fancied Almandin in the Melbourne Cup after being unsuccessful in his appeal against an improper riding charge.
Owner Lloyd Williams made the announcement that the England-based rider would fly to Australia for the prized mount only minutes after the RAD Board dismissed Oliver's appeal.
Oliver was hit with a 20-meeting penalty for improper riding in the Cox Plate last Saturday, with Racing Victoria stewards taking a dim view of his actions to push Royal Symphony to the fence and prior to the winning post for the first time. Oliver's suspension starts immediately and expires on November 15, ruling him out of the entire Flemington Carnival, reports Racing.com.
The champion jockey has the option of taking the matter to VCAT but suggested it was unlikely when speaking to the media following his appeal. "I'm obviously disappointed in the result today to miss the Spring Carnival but I accept the board's decision," Oliver said.
"Myself being a competitive person is what has made me be able to sustain a long successful career but the board felt I have overstepped this today, which I accept.
"The main thing I want to put out there is that I have total respect for the riders I ride with and would never do anything to put them in danger."
Judge John Bowman said the RAD Board was satisfied with the charge of improper riding, saying the champion jockey simply rode his horse Happy Clapper on an inward angle, bumping Royal Symphony significantly so he could take his running.
"There was one bump, then two and then three, it was constant leaning and pressure," he said.
"In any event, Dean Yendall did not want to surrender his rightful running and you used your considerably larger horse to push him toward the fence."
Oliver argued that he was not guilty of improper riding as in his opinion there was no potential of danger to Royal Symphony or any other horse.