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High drama at Nikolic VCAT hearing

By Adrian Dunn TVN Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 5:33 PM

DURING a dramatic second day in the VCAT appeal by Danny Nikolic against a two-year disqualification, RVL chief steward Terry Bailey told a delegation of jockeys that Nikolic was not going to continue riding at the Seymour meeting.

Bailey told Jason Benbow, Brad Rawiller and Craig Robertson that Nikolic had called him a “c… and threatened him and his family.”

The VCAT hearing heard an audio recording of a meeting between the jockeys and Bailey in the Seymour steward’s room on September 4 after Nikolic had been ordered to “pack his bags and go home.”

“I don’t care if you all go home, but he’s not riding,” Bailey told the delegation.

Rawiller asked Bailey if he told Nikolic he planned to“break” his career, a charge that the chairman of stewards vehemently denied.

“If you don’t rate me better than D Nikolic well ….," Bailey said.

“Enough is enough, I’m not coping that.”

The appeal was adjourned after Bailey gave evidence for more than six hours and evidence had been taken from a number of stewards, including Joelene McSwain, who chaired the meeting at Seymour that day.

McSwain told the appeal that Bailey “made a comment in passing” in the steward’s tower about Nikolic making a comment about “keeping your eyes on the road, Terry.’

She admitted she had never heard the comment before, but subsequently understood it to be from an AAMI television commercial.

McSwain said that Nikolic put his feet on the desk of the steward’s table during the inquiry, the first time she had seen a jockey do that.

Later, McSwain said Bailey had appeared “agitated” and he remarked that “Nikolic had made another crack at him and threatened his family and kids and that he knew where we lived.”

“Terry said ‘we should not have to cop this and should consider standing him down,” McSwain said.

“I said ‘if that’s what he said we shouldn’t have to cop it.”

Earlier, Bailey was visibly upset as he recalled ringing his wife after the meeting to relay what had happened.

Bailey said he discussed with his wife coming home as he had planned to go to Euroa that night as he had a meeting the next day with a licensed person.

"I told her what had happened," Bailey said as choking back his emotions.

"And, I had to make a decision.'

Bailey said he arranged to have security placed on his house.

The VCAT appeal was adjourned until Wednesday, November 28 when Nikolic will give evidence.

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