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Oliver wants to win for Waterhouse
Jeff Turnbull
17:26 AEST Mon Nov 4 2013

Dual Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver says victory on Fiorente will hold special significance if he can give trainer Gai Waterhouse her first victory after 20 years of trying.

Oliver, who replaced Nash Rawiller on the ride on Fiorente after he finished fourth on the six-year-old in the Group One Turnbull Stakes, regards Fiorente as a "second to none" chance in the Cup.

"It's a great thrill and a great honour, especially with Gai Waterhouse," Oliver said.

"She's done so much for racing and she hasn't been able to crack it yet, she's gone close a few times."

Waterhouse has played the bridesmaid role three times with Te Akau Nick (1993), Nothin' Leica Dane (1995) and Fiorente last year but has never started in the race with the favourite.

"It would be great to be part of her Melbourne Cup triumph if she was to win it," Oliver said.

Fiorente has come through his third place in the Cox Plate in good order and is well drawn in barrier five.

Oliver said this year's field, which includes nine internationally-trained horses among 13 individual Group One winners, was the strongest he could remember.

He said last year's experience in the Cup would be of great benefit for Fiorente.

"He's got a great temperament, the occasion won't get to him," Oliver said.

"He's proven himself running second last year but there are many chances, and it won't be an easy race to win."

Oliver said he was not daunted by the pressure cooker atmosphere that descends on jockeys around this time every year.

"Anyone who competes at the highest level has to cope with these circumstances and try to get the best out of yourself and the horse on the day," he said.

He said a trouble-free run over the 3200m was the key to success.

Oliver won his first Cup in 1995 aboard Doriemus and claimed a second seven years later on Irish horse Media Puzzle.


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