Damien Oliver pledges to ride Delphi at 53kg in Caulfield Cup

Hall Of Fame jockey Damien Oliver will ride the lightest he has done in years when he partners Delphi in the Caulfield Cup.

Delphi has 52.5kg in Saturday’s Group 1 handicap over 2400m and Oliver has pledged to ride the imported galloper at 53kg.

Oliver partnered the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained galloper to win the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield last Saturday, gaining a ballot exemption into Saturday’s race.

Delphi is the second favourite with TAB at $6 for Saturday’s Caulfield Cup that sees the Peter Moody-trained Incentivise as the $1.90 top pick.

Under the conditions of the Caulfield Cup, Delphi could not be penalised for his Herbert Power Stakes win, however Racing Victoria Handicapper Greg Carpenter penalised the stayer 1kg, rising to 53.5kg, for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 2.

Oliver said it would be a good challenge for his to get down to 53kg to partner Delphi on Saturday.

“I got encouragement from my wife that she would look after the diet side of things,” Oliver told RSN.

“She’s put me onto Ted Lasso and will lock me onto the treadmill for the week.

“There’s not much I can do in lockdown.”

Oliver committed to Delphi after being impressed by the galloper’s win on Saturday in what he described as a strong staying performance.

And Oliver believes a stronger Caulfield Cup pace will be an advantage.

“I thought it was a great win on Saturday and coming off that race with a good win, I think it’s a good chance for a horse like that, a fast on-pace type of stayer,” Oliver said.

“I think he’s got a great chance and I think backing up in a week’s time will only help him.

“It was the first time I rode him on Saturday, but I got a message from the team that he’d pulled-up really well and it felt like in his recovery there was improvement to come on Saturday.”

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