Steward called in by police as defiant Nikolic rides on
- BY:BRENDAN CORMICK
- From:The Australian
- August 16, 2012 12:00AM
Controversial jockey Danny Nikolic after riding at Sandown yesterday. Nikolic is facing allegations of fixing races but yesterday maintained his innocence. Picture: Darren Tindale Source: The Australian
RACING Victoria’s chairman of stewards Terry Bailey left Sandown racecourse halfway through yesterday’s race meeting to speak with detectives from Victoria Police investigating alleged race fixing.
The Australian understands that after chairing the first three races, Bailey travelled to the St Kilda Road police headquarters.
Bailey would not comment last night but it is believed he was told of information collected by police in relation to allegations against high-profile jockey Danny Nikolic.
A defiant Nikolic said yesterday he would not be responding to allegations he was involved in fixing a race won by Smoking Aces last year at Cranbourne.
“I’ve been instructed not to say anything,” Nikolic said.
“I don’t have nothing to respond to anyway.”
Despite the allegations Nikolic continues to work. He had two rides at yesterday’s Sandown meeting, finishing out of the placings in both.
Allegations that riders were paid to fix races while another laid his mount to lose where sources of mirth in the jockeys’ room yesterrday.
One senior joockey said if the claims were proved then, for the credibility of the sport, the offenders should be punished, but among yesterday’s group it was the butt of jokes.
Racing Victoria chief executive Rob Hines issued a statement last night in response to allegations made in yesterday’s Fairfax media, denying knowledge of the alleged corrupt activity involving jockeys.
“Racing Victoria has no knowledge of the allegation in today’s Fairfax newspapers regarding a jockey wagering on another horse in the same race and is not aware of the source of this allegation,” Hines said.
“If evidence is provided to Racing Victoria to support this allegation then swift action will be taken by the stewards under the Rules of Racing.
“With respect to comments pertaining to a separate investigation into betting activities, it is important to note that we stringently monitor betting on over 4000 races annually in conjunction with all approved wagering operators to ensure that the integrity of our sport is maintained.
“As part of this process, we regularly investigate betting on specific races where there may be an abnormal pattern of activity and if required will open an inquiry to further our investigations.
“We will not comment on individual investigations until such time as charges have been laid with respect to breaches of the Rules of Racing.
“As advised previously, Racing Victoria has been working closely with the Racing Integrity Commissioner, Sal Perna, and Victoria Police for a number of months on the allegation pertaining to fixing of the race won by Smoking Aces at Cranbourne in April last year.”
Racing NSW chairman of stewards, Ray Murrihy, said yesterday that he had written to those in command of the investigation and asked to be briefed if it involved participants under his jurisdiction.
Betfair chief executive officer Giles Thompson issued a statement distancing itself from the Fairfax article regarding the betting exchange investigating trends in certain races.
“Betfair enjoys healthy and long-standing relationships with racing and sports administrators across all major codes in Australia,” Thompson said.
“We have provided a number of betting records to investigative authorities. Contrary to what has been reported today, these records do not relate specifically to ‘lay betting’ nor has Betfair launched any investigation into ‘lay betting’ activity.
“This article also mentions an unnamed Betfair source. These quotes are not accounted for and do not in any way represent Betfair’s position.”