Nikolic inquiry

Embattled jockey Danny Nikolic will finally answer charges in Melbourne on Monday after a long running investigation into 10 of his rides and betting activities surrounding them.

After a four month investigation, Victorian stewards last month laid nine charges against the jockey including two of improper practice and two of conduct prejudicial to the interests of racing relating to bets laid on betting exchange Betfair.
He is also charged with engaging in improper behaviour and four counts of leaving the jockeys’ room during riding commitments to use his mobile phone.

None of the charges relate to his handling of the horses in his 10 rides that were under investigation.

The investigation started after Nikolic was beaten into second place aboard $1.60 favourite Finishing Card in a maiden at Mornington on January 8.

Stewards then broadened their inquiries to cover several of Nikolic’s rides in the previous two months.

Nikolic, who has maintained his innocence throughout the months of the ongoing investigation, has vowed to fight the charges as hard as he can saying his reputation has been damaged.

He has struggled to get rides in the big races over the autumn and winter carnivals with his last Group One victory coming on Starspangledbanner in February’s Oakleigh Plate.

Family friend, professional punter and commission agent Neville Clements was warned off in March when he refused to produce his telephone records for inspection in relation to the Nikolic case.

He has lodged an appeal which will be heard by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Friday.

Clements is appealing on the grounds that as an unlicensed person he was not subject to the rules of racing or the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board’s decision and penalty.

Nikolic originally refused to hand over his phone for forensic tests and was fined $5000.

He surrendered the phone in March.

Clements has also been warned off in Queensland after an inquiry into bets placed with Betfair on a horse trained by Nikolic’s brother John.

Baby Boom ran fourth in a race at Caloundra on January 3 with Clements and two other Betfair account holders gaining from her loss.