JOHN NIKOLIC OUTED FOR A YEAR
Created on 10 April 2014 Published on 10 April 2014 .
JOHN Nikolic, the trainer licensed by Racing Queensland, has been disqualified for a year by stewards in NSW afteer one of his horses tested positive to a banned substance.
Nikolic, the brother of disqualified Victorian jockey Dan Nikolic, landed a plunge with the horse in question, Wonderful Jester, when it was successful at Murwillumbah in January.
Racing NSW betting steward Terry Griffin told an inquiry that his investigations had revealed ‘strong stable support’ Wonderful Jester when it was backed from $8 to $2.4 and won then returned a positive swab to gapapentin.
John Nikolic, who only resumed training last year after serving a previous disqualification, was again disqualified – this time for 12 months – after pleading guilty to ‘administering the prohibited substance gabapentin on January 3 2014 to Wonderful Jester, which was detected in a sample taken from that gelding subsequent to it winning the Hakka Hire Murwillumbah Class 3 Handicap conducted at Murwillumbah racecourse on Sunday January 5 2014’.
He was also fined a total of $1200 after pleading guilty to another two charges.
The Racing NSW stewards’ report reads:
The Stewards on Wednesday conducted an inquiry into the Analysts’ report of the presence of the prohibited substance gabapentin in the urine sample taken from the racehorse Wonderful Jester subsequent to it winning the Hakka Hire Murwillumbah Class 3 Handicap conducted at Murwillumbah racecourse on the 5th January 2014.
Evidence was taken on Wednesday from Mr John Nikolic, trainer of Wonderful Jester and from Mrs Yvette Nikolic (by telephone), part-owner of Wonderful Jester.
Racing NSW Senior Official Veterinarian, Dr Craig Suann gave advice by telephone to the inquiry, to the effect that gabapentin is an active ingredient in a number of prescription medicines for humans and under the Australian rules of racing can be classified as a prohibited substance by its actions and effects, primarily on the central nervous system.
Evidence was also taken by telephone from Mr John Nikolic Snr (Riders Agent RVL), Mr Kevin McFarland (a warned-off person with Queensland Racing) and from Mr Adam Loxley.
The Stewards received a report from Racing NSW Betting Steward Mr Terry Griffin who detailed information of betting transactions from all Australian betting entities on the race which indicated strong stable inspired betting support for Wonderful Jester whose official betting fluctuations were $6 -> $8 -> $2.4 favourite.
Mr John Nikolic was charged with the following breaches of the Rules of Racing:
Charge 1: Breach of AR80E(1)
AR80E(1) – Having in his possession at his Gold Coast stables, when visited by Stewards on the 6th February 2014, a blister pack of ten gabapentin capsules which were not labelled or prescribed or obtained in compliance with relevant State and Commonwealth legislation.
Plea – Guilty
Penalty – $600
Charge 2: Breach of AR178F(1)
AR178F(1) – Failing to record treatments to Wonderful Jester and other horses in Mr Nikolics stable between the 25th September 2013 and 20th January 2014.
Plea – Guilty
Penalty – $600
Charge 3: Breach of AR175(h)(ii)
AR175(h)(ii) – Administering the prohibited substance gabapentin on the 3rd January 2014 to Wonderful Jester, which was detected in a sample taken from that gelding subsequent to it winning the Hakka Hire Murwillumbah Class 3 Handicap conducted at Murwillumbah racecourse on Sunday 5th January 2014.
Plea – Guilty
Penalty – 12 Months Disqualification
Charge 4: Breach of AR175(h)(i)
AR175(h)(i) – Administering the prohibited substance gabapentin to Wonderful Jester for the purpose of affecting the performance of the gelding in the Hakka Hire Murwillumbah Class 3 Handicap at Murwillumbah on Sunday 5th January 2014.
Plea – Not Guilty
Finding – Not Guilty
Under the powers of AR196(6)(a), the Stewards deferred the commencement of the period of disqualification by 7 days until the 16th April 2014, however, under part (b) of that rule, Mr Nikolic may not start a horse in that period.
Consequently, the period of disqualification will commence on the 16th April 2014 and expire on the 16th April 2015.
Under the powers of AR177, Stewards disqualified Wonderful Jester from its first placing in the Hakka Hire Murwillumbah Class 3 Handicap of the 5th January 2014 and amended the placings to record as follows:
1. How Huge
3. More Dust
4. After the Bounce
5. Soul Brother
Mr Nikolic was advised of his rights of appeal.
Reproduced from www.letsgohorseracing.com.au