GOAT Damien Oliver named as The Archer official Ambassador.

Published 28 February 2024

GOAT Damien Oliver named as The Archer official Ambassador.

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The Rocky Amateurs Race Club has announced that recently retired Australian record Group 1 race winning jockey Damien Oliver will be the official ambassador for 2024 The Archer race day and preceding associated functions in Rockhampton in late April.

Appropriately, Oliver widely acclaimed as The GOAT (The Greatest Of All-Time) Australian jockey, with a record 129 GR 1 wins among his 35 years-career tally of 3189 winners has been chosen for the role of Rockhampton racing’s richest race meeting at Callaghan Park.

In Australia alone Oliver rode 3090 winners and during his career his mounts earned an incredible $249,246,398 – in other words $250M in prizemoney! 

The $750,000 WFA The Archer (1300n), a slot race, was inaugurated in 2022 and has placed Rockhampton racing under the national spotlight.

 It has drawn top class starters from such high-profile trainers as Sydney’s Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Chris Waller and Melbourne’s Ben and JD Hayes.

On Sunday, April 28, The Archer races will offer a record $1,094,600 in prize money, a massive rise from its baptism on Saturday May 7, 2022, when worth $440K on a day offering $650,000 prize money.

As such, naturally it will be the most lucrative race meeting ever held in the 156-year history of Rockhampton racing and the presence of the ever-popular Damien Oliver is certain to strike an accord with Central Queensland’s racing followers luring them to Callaghan Park.

Rocky Amateurs chairman, Bill Reid said today (Tuesday) his committee was thrilled that Damien had accepted the invitation for the role of “Ambassador for the Rocky Amateurs.”

“We consider it quite a coup to have Damien as our ambassador for Archer Day and indeed being present and mixing with the racing fraternity at the club’s other important functions leading up to race day. Damien will fit the role perfectly as he is a very down-to-earth person with a passion for racing and relishes the opportunity to mix with and meet his legion of followers in Central Queensland. Just as was the case with our ambassador last year in Gai Waterhouse, country people get the rare opportunity to meet with the industry’s high-profile stakeholders and personalities. It is rewarding two-fold not only, for want of a better word for their fans but from the feedback Gai provided also for themselves. Yes, the club is elated to have Ollie up here for The Archer,” the club chairman concluded.

The champion jockey just back from a one-off out of retirement representation at an international Jockey’s Challenge in Saudi Arabia where he rode a third placegetter, will be the guest at the Rocky Amateurs Calcutta Luncheon at the Rockhampton Leagues Club on Friday afternoon April 26.

Officially, Damien Oliver, 51 retired from race riding on December 16 last year where he kicked off in 1988 in Perth and on a meritorious final day, he rode a winning treble including winning the race named after himself.

At the Rocky Calcutta luncheon, Oliver will be interviewed and available to mix with attendees at the public function.

On the race eve of The Archer on Saturday evening April 27, Damien will be “suited-up” for a glamorous cocktail party hosted by the Rocky Amateurs at Headrick’s Lane in Rockhampton from 6.30pm onwards.

Without doubt Oliver’s presence in Rockhampton is going to stimulate tremendous interest for a myriad of reasons.

As an inductee to the Australian Racing Hall of Fame and one of only a handful of jockeys to win the Australian Grand Slam – Melbourne Cup (3 times), Cox Plate (3), Caulfield Cup (2) and Golden Slipper (1) he will have many a tale to discuss with his legion of fans and during his interviews.

Interestingly, although he has never ridden at Callaghan Park, Damien Oliver was an official guest with Melbourne’s legendary trainer Angus Armanasco at a racing function held at Rockhampton’s Cambridge Hotel in the early nineties. 

According to the informative website Racing and Sports, Damien has ridden sole winners at both Mackay and Cairns, so he is not a complete stranger to these parts.

Given the hospitality and district tours provided by the Rocky Amateurs to feature guests over the last two years, Damien Oliver will feel akin to ä local when he departs Rockhampton at the conclusion of The Archer Carnival. 

Keep updated on all the news leading up to The Archer on The Rocky Amateurs website. 

Credits: Statistics Racing and Sports.    




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