Oliver delivers memorable victory

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Justin FrisSouth Western Times
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Achernar Star, ridden by Damien Oliver, claims victory in the Amelia Park Bunbury Stakes yesterday at the Bunbury Turf Club.
Camera IconAchernar Star, ridden by Damien Oliver, claims victory in the Amelia Park Bunbury Stakes yesterday at the Bunbury Turf Club. Credit: Justin Fris

Achernar Star’s victory in yesterday’s Amelia Park Bunbury Stakes (1400m) feature race was heart-warming for several people.

Moments after the four-year-old had successfully held off a surging Tellem We’re Comin, managing owner Peter Walsh – who also ironically co-owns Amelia Park – gathered his thoughts and spoke candidly.

“This race – although I sponsor it which is a big thrill – goes back to my late father Vern, who won the Bunbury Stakes in 1977,” an emotional Walsh said.

“Damien Oliver is an absolute gem. I’ve seen him boss them as a jockey and he had a fantastic ride for us today.”

Oliver, who has recorded feature victories all over Australia, has a special connection with Bunbury – recording his first ever victory in 1988 aboard Mr Gudbod.

He also has known Walsh and his family since a child, due to the Oliver and Walsh families being lifelong friends.

“I would like to thank my old mate Bunbury Turf Club chairman Mark Bayliss, Alex Doble and everyone from the club in getting me over here,” Oliver said.

Oliver will return to Melbourne prior to Saturday’s meeting at Flemington, where he has been booked in for two group one races.

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