UPDATE: RACING Victoria stewards did not stop Damien Oliver from riding Americain in today's $6m Melbourne Cup.
In the end it was a disappointing day for the champion jockey.
Oliver's ride on favourite Americain, who finished well back, followed reports about allegations he placed a bet on a rival runner in a race in which he rode in 2010.
"Stewards are conducting an ongoing investigation into the allegations and as no charges have been laid, it is a matter of procedural fairness to allow the jockey to continue riding,'' a Racing Victoria official said at Flemington this morning.
Oliver woke on Melbourne Cup morning to blazing headlines that he had been questioned by Racing Victoria stewards over allegations he placed a $10,000 bet on eventual winner Miss Octopussy in a Moonee Valley race in which he rode in two years ago.
It was a rollorcoaster ride for Oliver on Cup day.
His ride in race one - Write the Cheque - finished well down the track, then in race four his horse broke down and was destroyed by vets.
The embattled jockey however tasted victory in the race before the Melbourne Cup when he took out the Lexus Hybrid Plate on Walk With Attitude, before a disappointing result on Americain.
Stewards confirmed they had spoken to Oliver about the alleged bet, but did not question the jockey yesterday.
"I can confirm Damien Oliver was not spoken to yesterday but he has been questioned previously about this issue,'' a Racing Victoria official said.
"Whether stewards will need to question Oliver again, I can't comment.
"But stewards do need to speak to other persons of interests and the matter is ongoing.
"Stewards hope to conclude the investigation in the next week or so but will not be held to that timetable.''
Earlier this spring, jockey Danny Nikolic was stood down from riding after making alleged threats against chief steward Terry Bailey and his family.
Nikolic had denied the allegations and has taken his appeal against a two-year riding ban to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal tomorrow.
As the allegations against Oliver are racing-related, he is allowed to continue riding while stewards conduct their inquiry.
The news Oliver had fronted senior racing stewards was revealed by heraldsun.com.au at 8.52pm yesterday.
Asked whether Oliver had made any admissions in relation to the alleged bet in 2010, Racing Victoria deputy chief steward Rob Montgomery told the Herald Sun: "I don't want to talk about that. It's still an ongoing inquiry.''
When asked this morning on 3AW, Racing Minister Denis Napthine also said he didn't know if Oliver had made any admissions about the alleged bet.
"Racing Victoria - I have spoken to them as recent as last night and they assure me that there is an ongoing investigation," Mr Napthine said.
"They advise that there are further witnesses to be interviewed and it’s totally inappropriate in the interest of procedural fairness and natural justice for the Minister for Racing to be interfering or commenting on an ongoing integrity investigation being conducted by the independent body, Racing Victoria."
Americain owner Gerry Ryan said today Oliver had not made any admissions to him.
"That was always going to be up to the stewards. I’m not the jury. We’re going to wait until what happens," Mr Ryan told 3AW.
He said Oliver was focused ahead of the big race.
"Whatever happens in his personal life, when he hops on that horse he is a true professional," Mr Ryan said.
Oliver is being investigated for allegedly placing the bet on a horse called Miss Octopussy at Moonee Valley in 2010.
The bet was allegedly made through a third person.
Miss Octopussy won at odds of $2.30, meaning a $10,000 bet would have returned $23,000.
Oliver rode second favourite Europa Point ($3.80), who finished sixth.
The Herald Sun is not suggesting Oliver, a two-time Melbourne Cup winner, did not ride his mount to the best of his ability.
Mr Montgomery confirmed Oliver had been interviewed by his panel, which included barrister Tony Burns and senior steward James Hitchcock.
Montgomery said two more witnesses were yet to be interviewed.
He described the witnesses as "licensed people'', meaning they are most likely jockeys or trainers.
Oliver did not appear at the traditional media event at Federation Square after the Melbourne Cup parade through the city yesterday.
It is understood the inquiry will conclude in the next few days.
Chief steward Terry Bailey said he was unaware of the outcome of the inquiry and that it was continuing.
Oliver lost the Melbourne Cup ride on My Quest for Peace and the Cox Plate mount on Green Moon in the wake of publicity surrounding the allegations.
He picked up the Americain ride only 10 days ago.
Oliver could not be contacted last night. He refused to comment when quizzed by a Channel 7 reporter at Flemington this morning.
Maluckyday trainer Wayne Hawkes refused to be drawn into the controversy during pre-dawn trackwork at Flemington today."Damien’s innocent until proven guilty and the Aussie way is innocent until proven guilty so let the stewards decide his fate and go from that," Hawkes told 3AW.
Read more at the Herald Sun.