Danny Nikolic: the jockey has been linked to allegations of race fixingPICTURE: Getty Images
Official wanted Danny Nikolic out of racing
Australia: Claims that a senior Victorian racing official declared jockey Danny Nikolic should be run out of the industry have rocked an inquiry into charges against the embattled rider.
The bombshell came from Victorian Jockeys' Association executive officer Des O'Keeffe who said the official from Racing Victoria telephoned him to express the view.
O'Keeffe told the inquiry conducted by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board he received the call some three weeks ago at a time when Nikolic's name had been linked to allegations of race fixing currently under investigation by police and stewards.
O'Keeffe was unable to say if the official who he named in-camera but who was referred to in the inquiry as Mr X, was expressing his own views or those of Racing Victoria.
"This person said Danny Nikolic has run his course here and racing would be better off without him," O'Keeffe said.
Mr X allegedly told O'Keeffe the race-fixing allegations had caused a decline in turnover.
It is also alleged he claimed Nikolic was a bad influence on younger jockeys and was responsible for rowdiness in the jockeys' room at race meetings.
O'Keeffe said he was surprised to receive the call and could only guess at why it had been made.
One possibility, he told the inquiry, was that it was an attempt to prompt him to encourage younger riders to give "forthright" evidence about race fixing.
The inquiry is hearing two, unrelated charges regarding alleged threats made by Nikolic against Victoria's chief steward Terry Bailey at the Seymour race meeting on September 4.
Bailey alleges Nikolic made the threats as part of a torrent of abuse against him.
The inquiry heard Nikolic told Bailey: "We all have families c***, and we know where yours lives, c***."
Nikolic was stood down from his rides on the day and ordered off the track and stewards laid the two charges last week.
Bailey told the inquiry he was "rattled" by the comments and feared for his family's safety.
Under questioning from Nikolic's lawyer Sandy Robertson, Bailey rejected a claim Nikolic was the victim and it was he who had made the threats.
Robertson said Bailey had been the aggressor, telling Nikolic he would "f*** his career".
He said Bailey had engaged in a long-running feud against the jockey.
Both sides deny making any threats and Nikolic has pleaded not guilty to the charges that he has brought racing into disrepute and behaved dishonestly, fraudulently or corruptly.
The inquiry chaired by RAD Board deputy chairman Brian Forrest continues on Thursday.