Still hopeful: Damien Oliver.Still hopeful: Damien Oliver. Photo: Getty Images

Champion jockey Damien Oliver is still hopeful of riding at Royal Ascot in England next week despite a heavy fall at Bendigo on Thursday.

While Oliver was awaiting scans at Bendigo on Thursday night, fellow jockey Chris Symons, who also took a heavy fall, is in hospital with concussion.

“He should be right [Oliver], he just complained a little bit of tenderness around the neck region, but I’ve spoken to him and he’s just waiting on the doctors to give him the all-clear”, manager Mark Van Triet said.

Oliver is due to fly out to England on Sunday but Van Triet said that Victoria’s leading jockey was still upbeat about not only riding the Gai Waterhouse-trained Wandjina at Royal Ascot but also fulfilling an excellent book of rides at Flemington on Saturday.

“We’re always very cautious with Damien’s history of back and neck injuries, but things seem OK at the moment. But he was very, very lucky,” he said.

In a nasty incident shortly after the start of the Maiden Plate, Hampshire, ridden by Symons, appeared to stumble and crash to the ground with Oliver’s mount Mefnooda unable to avoid the fallen horse resulting in Oliver coming down as well.

The incident was made worse when apprentice Jye McNeil also fell from his mount Adopted Opinion, but the youngster escaped injury. He, too, was fortunate as he appeared to encounter the backwash of the incident.

However, doctors were still concerned on Thursday night about the condition of Symons who was still in Bendigo Base Hospital under observation.

Oliver has had an amazing season and is equal leader on 47 wins in the Victorian jockeys’ premiership with Craig Williams, two wins ahead of Dwayne Dunn.

Oliver 42, has won many Victorian premierships during his decorated career and has won seven Breasley Medals, the highest honour for a jockey in the state. He has ridden more than 100 group 1 winners across Australia and is a three-time Melbourne Cup winner.