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Damien Oliver hit with hefty ban

Damien Oliver’s spring carnival has been dealt a severe blow with the champion jockey hit with a 20-meeting suspension for reckless riding at Caulfield.

Oliver won the main race of the day, the Group Three Blue Sapphire Stakes on Flying Artie, but was later outed for his actions passing the 700m mark .

Oliver’s ban will begin after the Caulfield Cup meeting on Saturday when he rides Exospheric for Lee and Anthony Freedman in the main race.

He can return to ride on Melbourne Cup day but will miss the Cox Plate and Victoria Derby meetings.

Racing Victoria stewards allege Oliver came from behind the heels of Dalradian and made heavy contact with Ken’s Dream, causing that horse to be hampered and his jockey Dean Yendall to become unbalanced.

Chief steward Terry Bailey told Oliver there were clear signs of intention in coming out and therefore putting Yendall and Ken’s Dream at risk.

Oliver told stewards in his 30 years of riding he had never been questioned on a reckless riding charge.

He said he didn’t put Yendall near the heels of any runner and in his opinion Yendall was never in any danger.

Unless Oliver appeals and is successful he will miss the ride on English in the Manikato Stakes on October 21 and Vadamos in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley the following day.

The last rider to be suspended for reckless riding in Victoria was Luke Nolen at Caulfield in August 2006 when he copped 31 days.

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