Damien Oliver on Duais before the Cox Plate

Damien Oliver on Duais before the Cox Plate

Oliver's Cox Plate near-miss

For a few strides when the pressure went on in Saturday’s Cox Plate, Damien Oliver thought he was going to be the author of his own fairytale on star mare Duais.

In his final Cox Plate, the champion jockey saved every inch of ground on the Edward Cummings-trained mare, who settled four back on the fence behind Mr Brightside.

Oliver made his run on the back of Alligator Blood and the mare looked to have more to offer before James McDonald, who was on the eventual winner Romantic Warrior, moved to Oliver’s outside and kept him behind Alligator Blood.

Duais finished fourth, little more than a length off Romantic Warrior, and Oliver said he was rapt with her performance.

“She ran a great race,” Oliver said.

“She had a beautiful run and she just needed one more run to open up there at the top of the straight and I think she would’ve been fighting out the finish.

“It was still a great effort.”

Despite the Cox Plate defeat, it was still a successful two days at The Valley for Oliver who rode a winning double on Celui and Frilled on Friday night.