There can rarely have been a better ambassador of any sport in this State than champion jockey Damien Oliver.
The only West Australian jockey to complete the Grand Slam of Melbourne and Caufield Cups, W.S Cox Plate and Golden Slipper, Damien was born in 1972 to a well known Perth racing family.
Working for Lindsey Rudland, Damien rode 66 winners and was WA's leading apprentice in 1988/89 before going to Victoria and joining the Lee Freedman stable.
He rode 478 winners as an apprentice, including 18 Group One's, his first in the VATC Vic Health Cup on Submariner, trained by Bart Cummings.
He won the Victorian Jockeys premiership twice while still an apprentice. During the next 10 years he won 5 senior Victorian jockey premierships making a total of seven, 2 Melbourne Cups, 4 Caulfield Cups, and twice the W.S Cox Plate.
He has now won more than 60 Group One races and was awarded the Scobie Breasley medal as Victoria's top jockey, six times, including four consecutive wins from 2001 to 2004. He captured the hearts of all Australians in 2002, when he dedicated his Melbourne Cup winning ride on Media Puzzle to his brother Jason, who was killed in a fall in a trial at Belmont Park just the week before.
When Damien bounced back from a horrific race fall to win the Golden Slipper aboard Forensics in April 2007, legendary rider and Australian Hall of Famer, Roy Higgins, commented, "he's the best rider in Australia - possibly one of the best in the world," "What we're seeing now is the man I declared 10 years ago as the best rider in the country. He hasn't lost a thing," said Higgins.