Banned jockey Danny Nikolic’s riding career is still uncertain while he awaits the verdict from the Victorian Civil Administration Tribunal for his appeal against a two year disqualification for misconduct.
At the centre of the inquiry is Nikolic’s verbal attack and alleged threatening of Racing Victoria’s chief Steward Terry Bailey at the Seymour race meeting on September 4.
Nikolic’s extensive appeal was wrapped up yesterday and presiding judge Michael Macnamara hasn’t given a date for his decision to be handed down.
Philip Dunn, QC, for Racing Victoria described Nikolic’s attack of Bailey as scurrilous and outrageous and also pointed to the evidence labelling Nikolic as a proven liar.
“He’s a proven liar. His story has changed like the sands in an hour glass,” Dunn said.”
Jack Rush, QC, for Nikolic defended the Group 1 winning jockey saying that he was under a lot pressure following ongoing investigations into race fixing.
Rush also attacked Bailey’s ability to control racing in Victoria over that last couple of years.
“Senior policeman in charge of racing in Victoria and has not achieved a result,” Rush said.
If Nikolic fails in his appeal, the disqualification prohibits him 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.
Nikolic was found guilty on two misconduct charges arising out of an incident at the Seymour race meeting 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 Seymour last month.
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.