Top Victorian jockey Danny Nikolic could lose the Spring ride on outstanding mare Mosheen if his indefinite riding ban imposed on him by chief steward Terry Bailey at Seymour races yesterday isn’t lifted.
One of the stars of the upcoming Spring Carnival, Mosheen is ready to resume in the Group 3 $150,000 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday and Nikolic could consider a Supreme Court injunction to enable him to ride.
Racing Victoria Chairman of Stewards Bailey stood Nikolic down after an incident at the Seymour race meeting on Tuesday, delaying the start to the seventh race.
Nikolic allegedly directed comments to Bailey on his way to barriers before the running of race 6, which Bailey took as a threat and the jockey was stood down from his remaining rides for the day.
“Keep your eyes on the road, Terry,” Nikolic allegedly said.
Bailey reportedly told jockeys at the race meeting that Nikolic had threatened him, his family and his career and an inquiry will be launched into the incident.
Nikolic denied that the comments were of a threatening nature but the clash between Bailey and Nikolic and the jockey’s subsequent banning prompted the threat of strike action for the jockeys.
“What I said was no threat,” Nikolic said.
“I didn’t threaten him.”
Racing Victoria released a short statement following the incident on Tuesday. “Jockey Danny Nikolic has been stood down following an incident at Seymour Racecourse this afternoon where it is alleged that threatening comments were made by Nikolic to the Chairman of Stewards.”
“Racing Victoria has commenced an investigation into the incident and will make no further comment while the investigation proceeds.”
Nikolic has been the regular rider for four times Group 1 winner Mosheen and trainer Robert Smerdon has mapped out a Spring program for the Crown Oaks winner that will take in possibly three Group 1s including the $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27.
As well as the Cox Plate, Smerdon has planned to run the Fastnet Rock mare in the Group 1 $500,000 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on October 6 before returning to Melbourne for the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield a week later.
Mosheen is on the second line of betting for the Epsom at $9 with the Chris Waller trained Shoot Out, just behind Gai Waterhouse’s glamour mare More Joyous who heads the market order at $8.
And the Fastnet Rock mare is also prominent in Cox Plate betting at $13 with Waterhouse’s pair of Pierro ($5) and More Joyous ($6.50) dominating the early market.