Embattled jockey Danny Nikolic will have to present a strong defence if he is to contest charges laid against him when he fronts the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board tomorrow morning.
Racing Victoria Stewards issued two charges against Nikolic arising from comments made towards Chief steward Terry Bailey at the Seymour race meeting last Tuesday.
Nikolic has been issued with two charges by Stewards, the first under Australian Rule of Racing 175(a) which reads;
“Any person, who in their opinion, has been guilty of any dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent, improper or dishonourable action or practice in connection with racing may be penalised.”
And the second charge is under Australian Rule of Racing 175A which reads;
“Any person bound by these Rules who, either within a racecourse or elsewhere, in the opinion of the Committee of any Club or the Stewards has been guilty of conduct prejudicial to the image, or interests, or welfare of racing may be penalised.”
Nikolic allegedly directed comments to Bailey on his way to barriers before the running of race 6 at Seymour, which the chief steward took as a threat.
“Keep your eyes on the road, Terry,” Nikolic allegedly said.
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.”
Bailey subsequently stood Nikolic down from his remaining rides for the day and banned him from riding indefinitely, a charge that Nikolic will be appealing against with the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board prior to his hearing against the misconduct charges.
Nikolic has already had a stay of proceedings application denied and if his appeal against his riding ban is dismissed, his riding career could be in limbo.
If Nikolic is unable to win his appeal, he will miss the Spring ride on Cox Plate aspirant Mosheen who resumed with a moderate thirteenth to We’re Gonna Rock in the Group 3 $150,000 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington last Saturday.
Mark Zahra was Mosheen’s replacement rider for Nikolic who had recorded four Group 1 wins on the four year old mare, including the $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington last November.