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Top jockeys Damien Oliver and Danny Nikolic were both suspended after pleading guilty to separate careless riding offences in a busy day for stewards at Caulfield on Saturday.

Nikolic was the first to be rubbed out after he was charged with careless riding aboard Starspangledbanner in the listed Vain Stakes when he allowed the Leon Corstens-trained colt to shift in and cause interference to Common Interest and Orinoco.

Orinoco’s winning chances were gone after the incident which left the Rod Douglas-trained three-year-old with a wound to his foreleg.

Nikolic’s guilty plea and good recent riding record were considered by the stewards when handing down an 11-meeting suspension, to expire on August 27.

Oliver was banned for 15 meetings for causing interference aboard the Danny O’Brien-trained Vigor in the fifth event, a penalty which has international ramifications.

The champion jockey was scheduled to ride against the world’s best jockeys at Deauville in France on August 22 but the suspension has forced the trip to be abandoned.

Oliver’s suspension begins after Sunday’s Betfair Park meeting and ends at midnight on August 31.


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