Banned jockey Danny Nikolic has to wait until January twenty-two to be handed a final decision on penalty after his appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal against a two year disqualification was dismissed today.
Presiding judge Michael Macnamara dismissed the appeal with his decision on penalty being reserved until the January sitting of VCAT.
“We welcome the decision of Judge Macnamara to affirm the finding of the RAD Board. This decision vindicates the actions of the Racing Victoria Stewards,” Racing Victoria Chief Executive Bernard Saundry said.
Nikolic was found guilty on two misconduct charges arising out of an incident at the Seymour race meeting on September 4 when it was alleged that Nikolic had threatened Racing Victoria Chief Steward Terry Bailey.
“The language directed at Mr Bailey was not only grossly offensive to him, but worse, contained a sinister threat to his family. So much so that in the immediate aftermath Mr Bailey arranged security at his home for a week,” Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board chairman Brian Forrest said when handing down the two year ban.
“It is also imperative for the wellbeing of racing that participants can be confident that the stewards, as the persons responsible for the day-to-day control of racing, discharge their duties free of any risk of being compromised by the spectre of threats to themselves or their families.”
Nikolic has a history of misconduct charges against stewards in recent times and has had an ongoing battle with Bailey which erupted at the Seymour race meeting on September 4.
Nikolic has been in the top echelon of Australian jockeys for the past ten years and his most recent success at the elite level have been with the smart mare Mosheen who collected three Group 1 victories last Autumn as well as the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington last November.
If Nikolic’s two year disqualification stands, he is prohibited from participating in any aspect of the racing industry and as well as not being allowed to ride in races, he is barred from riding trackwork, attending race meetings and visiting licenced racing premises.
At the centre of the original inquiry was Nikolic’s verbal attack and alleged threatening of Racing Victoria’s chief Steward Terry Bailey at Seymour and the long appeal process has lingered on over several months.