Damien Oliver wins his third Melbourne Cup
Damien Oliver has steered Fiorente to a Melbourne Cup victory that has put the seal on his comeback to racing after a long ban.
Damien Oliver is thrilled to be a part of Gai Waterhouse's first Melbourne Cup win and grateful for the opportunity to get his third.
Oliver spent almost a year on the outer after being banned for a betting offence and Waterhouse's support was vital in a comeback sealed by Fiorente's win at Flemington on Tuesday.
"When I came back we passed each other on the track one day and Gai asked me if I would ride work for her," Oliver said.
"She didn't promise anything and you never expect anything in this game.
"I had some early winners for Gai and that helped.
"She has been one of my biggest supporters."
Oliver gained the Fiorente ride when Waterhouse sacked Nash Rawiller after the horse's fourth in the Turnbull Stakes.
Fate intervened before the Cox Plate when Oliver was suspended and Blake Shinn rode Fiorente to third and he didn't forget the two other riders.
"Nash Rawiller and Blake Shinn played a big part in riding this horse through his preparation," Oliver said.
"The Cup was my first ride on him but I had ridden him a lot in trackwork so I knew what to expect."
Oliver's first Cup was in 1995 aboard Doriemus. His second came in tragic circumstances in 2002 on Media Puzzle just days after his brother Jason was killed in a fall from a horse.
"They have all been different emotions," he said.
"For my first I was 23 years old and it was a dream come true.
"My second on Media Puzzle was in trying times and this is different again.
"I'm on cloud nine."
Oliver said he was looking forward to the future and had moved on from the scandal which hit during last year's spring carnival.
"I'm looking ahead and from today it's looking good," he said.
"I did the crime and I've served my time. It's time to move on."