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Damien Oliver labels the Coolmore Stud Stakes the ‘race’ of the 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival

Champion jockey Damien Oliver has labelled Saturday’s Coolmore Stud Stakes the most exciting race of this year’s Melbourne Cup carnival.

Oliver, who returns from a hefty 20-meeting suspension on Melbourne Cup day, told 3AW it shaped as a memorable affair.

In a cruel twist, the horse he was riding when he incurred his suspension – untapped colt Flying Artie – is one of the leading contenders.

Gun three-year-olds Extreme Choice, Astern, Star Turn, Capitalist and Russian Revolution will also contest the sprint down the famous Flemington straight.

‘I think it’s the race of the week, to be honest,’ Oliver said during his regular spot on Sports Today.

‘These three-year-olds look to have the wood over the older horses.

‘I think any one of those top five, six, seven horses could take that race out.’

Click PLAY below to hear Damien Oliver on Sports Today