VCAT varies Nikolic disqualification
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has altered the terms of controversial jockey Danny Nikolicís two-year ban for threatening Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey.
VCAT rejected Nikolicís appeal against a two-year disqualification in December last year but has halved the disqualification period at a hearing in Melbourne on Tuesday.
VCAT vice-president Judge Macnamara reduced the second year of Nikolicís disqualification to a suspension, which would enable the jockey to ride trackwork from September this year before returning to race riding in September 2014.
Racing Victoriaís legal counsel argued VCAT should keep Nikolicís ban intact or increase the penalty due to his history with chief steward Terry Bailey, the jockeyís admission he gave false evidence at the original Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board hearing and his alleged threat to another Racing Victoria steward outside a VCAT hearing in 2012.
Nikolicís legal representative Jack Rush QC said Nikolicís behaviour was not as detrimental to the industry as the betting scandal that resulted in a 10-month ban for Damien Oliver.
I don't agree with the learned Rush QC's opinion....Oliver didn't threaten to harm anyone....and the penalties support that Nickolic's offence was worse.
Meanwhile the three small time gambling jockeys are hit with fines of $1000...none of them collected on their bets.