Damien Oliver.
Damien Oliver.

Damien Oliver entitled to presumption of innocence

TO suggest that Damien Oliver should be denied an opportunity to ride at Flemington today is to fly in the face of everything that our system of justice stands for.

Oliver is suspected of betting on another horse in a race in which he rode a couple of years ago.

That, of course, is against all the rules of racing. And Oliver, it is said, has privately admitted the offence.

The owner of the Melbourne Cup favourite Americain, Gerry Ryan, learned yesterday afternoon that the betting storm over Oliver was set to break.

But the Melbourne based-businessman and sporting identity said he and connections did not consider changing riders for the $6.2 million race, despite the scrutiny and pressure Oliver would be under following revelations in The Age.

After all, Oliver been charged with nothing.

And until he is - let alone found guilty - he is as entitled to ply his trade as is any other Australian.

Even if that trade extends to riding the favorite in the race that stops a nation.

Peter Owen is a long-time fan of racing and the former editor in chief of the Sunshine Coast Daily.