Bermadez to strike without jockey Damien Oliver

As champion jockey Damien Oliver’s career draws to a close in Perth, one Melbourne trainer wishes he would extend his time in the saddle.

Not indefinitely, but long enough to see out the career of Bermadez.

Trainer Mike Moroney and Oliver have had a long and fruitful association of many seasons and have combined four times in Group 1 races in Australia.

While Bermadez is not one of the Group 1 winners, Oliver does seem to hold the secret to the gelding.

Bermadez runs in the Stow Robotics Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday and will have Jye Mcneil in the saddle.

Oliver has partnered Bermadez in five of his six wins with Jamie Kah the only other jockey to have scored aboard the seven-year-old.

“It would be great to have him on,” Moroney said.

“So that will be a question mark about him now. He certainly got on with the horse and we’ve had a bit of success over the years together.

“He rode four Group 1 winners for me – Sarrera twice, Glass Harmonium and Tivaci.”

Oliver partnered Bermadez when the gelding resumed at Flemington over 1400m on Melbourne Cup Day and it was the first time he had partnered the horse in 12 months.

In the nine starts during that 12-month period, that Flemington performance was the only time Bermadez had been placed.

Bermadez had been entered at Ballarat last week but was scratched when the track was downgraded during the meeting to heavy.

“He doesn’t mind it soft, but once it gets to the heavy, it’s a bit too much for him,” Moroney said.

“He’s progressed well. We’d like to see him string a few together because he has been out of form, but he looks great, and he seems to be quite happy.

“We’re just spacing his races a bit and keep him as happy as we can.”

Moroney will also be represented by Not An Option in Saturday’s race who will benefit from the 2kg claim of Celine Gaudray.

Not An Option was not suited on the wet track when fifth in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes over Saturday’s course and distance on December 2.

“He struck wet ground the other day which he is hopeless in,” Moroney said.

“He likes dry tracks, so that’s why we brought him back for this time of the year.

“On his day he’s a pretty smart horse and that’s his favourite trip, 1400 metres.”

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