Oliver chasing more Group Ones in Sydney

By: Craig Brennan Thursday 19 April 2018

Most jockeys don't feel their careers have been fulfilled unless there is a Group One victory logged against their name.

Damien Oliver has bagged 108, a tally he shares with Roy Higgins, in a 30-year career that is still going as strong as ever.

Only George Moore, with 119, has ridden more Australian Group One winners.

Oliver's latest Group One win came aboard Grunt in last month's Australian Guineas and he has another two chances on Saturday at Randwick.

He rides Muraaqeb, a $23 chance, for Lindsay Park in the day's feature, the All Aged Stakes, and Seabrook, the $5.50 equal top pick, in the Champagne Stakes.

Oliver readily admits Muraaqeb will need to run a career best but says the three-year-old is in top form ahead of his first test against older horses.

Muraaqeb won the 1600m Carbine Club Stakes at Randwick on April 7 and Oliver doesn't see a drop in distance posing a problem.

"It's a class jump for him and a class test but he won well the other day although he had all the favours," Oliver said.

"Three-year-olds can have a good record against the older horses at this time of year but obviously he's got to make that jump in class.

"I think he's got the makings of a nice class horse and this will tell us a bit more about him."

Oliver holds high hopes Seabrook can claim her maiden Group One success.

After finishing fifth in the Golden Slipper at Rosehill, Seabrook finished ninth in the ATC Sires' Produce Stakes at Randwick on April 7.

Oliver said the race went wrong right from the moment the barriers opened.

"She lost her back and front feet and never really travelled after that," Oliver said.

"I'm hoping that's the reason why she performed below her best.

"Her run in the Slipper was great then she wasn't beaten all that far last start but I thought she didn't finish with the same gusto as she normally does.

"I can't blame racing inside as I had plenty of room and I think it was more to do with the start."