Oliver returns for one-off Saudi adventure

Damien Oliver got tongues wagging when he was seen riding trackwork at Flemington.

Jockey : DAMIEN OLIVER. Picture: Colin Bull / Sportpix

Damien Oliver is making a short-lived return to the saddle to ride in an international jockeys' series in Saudia Arabia at the end of the month. 

After ending his career on a high in Perth in December where he guided Munhamek to victory in the Damien Oliver Gold Rush at Ascot in his final race ride, Oliver was seen riding trackwork at Flemington on Friday in a bid to get his fitness levels back up. 

Oliver has been enjoying retirement, eating and drinking what he wants, sleeping in, and was walking around at 58kg on Friday. 

He said there was no intention of returning to the saddle full-time and it was a 'one-off' to ride in the jockey's series at Riyadh on February 23 and 24, although he will be available for other rides should they be offered. 

"It's kind of an offer too good to refuse, although it's kind of bittersweet having such a great finish to my career in Perth," Oliver told Entain. 

"I wasn't planning to do something like this, but something like this does not come along too often, so I thought I might as well have a crack as a one-off. 

"It's just a one-off. There are no plans of a comeback. 

"I'm quite content the way things are going at the moment. I've been quite happy doing my work at Ladbrokes. I've been quite busy and enjoying sleeping in and eating and drinking what I like. 

"I've slipped into the new lifestyle quite well." 

Oliver is following the lead of fellow former jockey Glen Boss, who came out of retirement to ride in the same jockey's series in 2022. 

The last time Oliver rode in the Middle-East was in 1996 when he partnered Danewin in the Dubai World Cup behind the US super-star Cigar.