Remember when ... in 2002
Damien Oliver points to the heavens.
In the history of the Melbourne Cup there has not been a more emotional moment at Flemington than when Damien Oliver securedvictory aboard Media Puzzle in 2002. Having lost his brother Jason in a Perth track accident only days before, Oliver needed to call on allhis reserves to win Australia's iconic race.
And knowing he had not ridden well on Derby Day three days earlier, there was high speculation as to whether Damien should takehis mount on the Dermot Weld-trained stayer. Yet it was like the script was already written, as Damien placed the Irish stayer in the bestpositions throughout and, at the top of the straight, all punters werescreaming for Media Puzzle to win.
There was hardly a dry eye at Flemington as Oliver saluted crossinghis finishing line and calling to the heavens, ‘My boy, my boy’, anaffectionate exchange between two brothers who had endured a lifetime together. Damien Oliver would return to Perth the next day tobury his brother. It was the heart-wrenching story of the decade.
In winning the Cup, Media Puzzle (trained in Ireland) became the first of seven international horses to win the Melbourne Cup between2000 and 2019. Others would include: Delta Blues (2006, Japan); Americain (2010, France); Dunaden (2011, France); Protectionist (2014, Germany); Rekindling (2017, Ireland) and Cross Counter (2018, United Kingdom).