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Nikolic may appeal again on riding licence

Controversial jockey Danny Nikolic is bitterly disappointed he has lost his bid to regain his jockey licence and is considering another appeal, his lawyer says.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Wednesday rejected Nikolic’s appeal to be relicensed after four-and-a-half years on the sidelines.

VCAT deputy president Heather Lambrick concluded Nikolic was not a person of good reputation and character and not a fit and proper person to hold a licence to ride.

Ms Lambrick said she had not been persuaded that Nikolic had changed.

She said she had a degree of sympathy for the jockey and his circumstances in recent years.

“I fully accept that he was under enormous stress as a result of serious allegations of race fixing.

“He has never been found guilty of any such incidents.

“His former father-in-law was murdered and he found himself the subject of intense media and public scrutiny.

“He has never been charged with anything to do with that murder.”

Ms Lambrick said Nikolic also suffered a difficult marriage breakdown and apparently had some personal financial pressures.

“Although these matters contextualise the circumstances of Mr Nikolic’s conduct, they cannot completely excuse it,” she said.

“They also cannot turn back time.”

Nikolic’s lawyer Pat Lennon said Nikolic was obviously bitterly disappointed with the decision and proposed appealing it, subject to carefully considering the finding and ascertaining that reasonable grounds for an appeal exist.

“Danny maintains that he suffered a substantial penalty arising out of his altercation with the chief steward Terry Bailey and he has served more than his time by virtue of that incident and the subsequent findings,” he said.

Mr Lennon said Nikolic continued to resist the allegations and basis upon which it is asserted that he is not a fit and proper person to be granted a jockey’s licence.

“Danny has only ever wanted a fair go and to be treated in the same manner that others would be treated.”

Nikolic had hoped to be able to ride trackwork if he regained his licence, despite earlier this month losing a High Court bid to appeal a police exclusion order banning him from being at specified racecourses during race meetings.

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