Top jockey Damien Oliver returned to race-riding at Geelong and booted home a five-length winner with his first ride back. Oliver has missed the past 10 months with an eight-month disqualification and two-month suspension for placing a $10,000 bet on a horse called Miss Octopussy at Moonee Valley, in 2010.

Oliver has been riding trackwork for the past two months and today, at his first race ride back, won on the Mick Price-trained Lion Of Belfort.

Lion Of Belfort started an odds-on favourite and won comfortably for Oliver, never really looking like being beaten. A relieved Oliver told TVN’s Adam Olszanski he was thrilled to be back.

“I’ve done a lot of work and I’ve been concentrating on the things I can control,” he started. “That was a nice win – he’s got a good future that horse, he won pretty comprehensively...“I’ve got to thank Mick Price (trainer of Lion Of Belfort) for his support and he’s been a good friend for a long time. I’ve got to now get my fitness right and re-establish my connections,” he said.

Oliver said he was looking forward to being part of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

“Today is just a stepping stone...I’m just happy to be back and to be part of the Spring,” he said.