Damien Oliver back in racing action
Damien Oliver stepped away from racing at the start of 2024 to much fanfare, but he returns to the saddle in the Gulf
- 51-year-old Damien Oliver is enjoying retired life.
- The legendary jockey stepped away from racing on a high earlier in 2024.
- Oliver will race in the Saudi International’s Jockey Challenge.
- The race is expected to be a one-off, with Oliver not scheduling a racing return.
The start of 2024 was all about Damien Oliver, with the Western Australian legend going out with a serious bang at Ascot. Triumphing three times on his last day as a professional jockey in Australia, Damien Oliver seemingly wrote his own scripts with many online betting sites as he stepped away from a 30-year racing career.
A return to full-time racing is certainly not on the cards but he will head out to Saudi Arabia for one last fling.
When it comes to legendary jockeys worldwide, few can compete with Australian icon Damien Oliver, who has been producing the goods for punters and Aussie bookmakers for over 30 years.
A triumphant day at Perth in his final meeting as a professional was the perfect way to bow out for Oliver but he returns to the saddle in Saudi Arabia for the Saudi International Jockey’s Challenge.
The perfect ending
Billed as the Damien Oliver Gold Rush at Ascot, the final race of Oliver’s 30-year career was always going to be an incredible spectacle.
Having won twice earlier in the day, even the most romantic of Australian horse racing fans couldn’t have imagined that Oliver could prevail in his final professional race.
But that he did, winning on board the speedy Munhamek, to further etch his name into Australian horse racing folklore with both punters and online betting sites.
Going for Gulf gold
The worldwide sporting landscape is feeling the lure of Saudi Arabia, with tennis, football, boxing, and golf all hosting key events in the Gulf state in recent times.
Horse racing in neighbouring countries such as the UAE and Qatar has long been on the agenda, but Saudi Arabia are a relatively new player in the international horse racing game.
However, they have flexed their financial muscle once more, being able to attract Damien Oliver out of retirement for one race in the Saudi International Jockey’s Challenge and ever the competitor, Oliver is sure to be up for the contest.
Oliver’s one off
The news that Damien Oliver was set to make a return to racing so soon after retirement, created a bit of a stir amongst punters and betting apps, with the prospect of Damien Oliver returning certainly an intriguing one.
The competition in Saudi Arabia will be fierce and having only stepped away from racing a month ago, Damien Oliver certainly won’t feel out of touch in this one.
However, both Oliver and his connections have been at pains to make it clear this is a one-off assignment in Saudi Arabia and he will return to retired life soon after.
Any retiring jockey always has plenty of speculation to deal with and Damien Oliver has been enjoying life away from the limelight since his retirement.
However, he is set to return to the saddle in Saudi Arabia in late February and his presence on the card is creating plenty of speculation for both punters and online betting sites.