Celebrated jockey Danny Nikolic is a “petulant and childish” man who would “cheerfully lie” to gain an advantage and who has changed his evidence to suit his level of desperation, a hearing has heard.
Lawyer Phil Dunn QC also told Nikolic’s appeal hearing the disgraced rider was “trying to con the judge” with his evidence.
In the face of a barrage of accusations from Dunn, who is appearing for the Racing Victoria stewards, Nikolic admitted he had lied in the original hearing which led to him being found guilty of threatening chief stewards Terry Bailey.
The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board last month disqualified Nikolic for two years over his behaviour toward Bailey who claimed that after an exchange between the two at a race meeting the jockey had told him: “We all have families c*** and we know where yours lives c***.”
At Tuesday’s appeal hearing before Judge Michael Macnamara in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), Nikolic recanted earlier evidence, admitting he had abused Bailey at the September 4 race meeting at Seymour.
“You are a liar when you think you’ll get some advantage out of it,” Dunn said.
“You will cheerfully lie to gain an advantage.”
For the first time in a series of protracted hearings, Nikolic admitted on Wednesday he had called Bailey a “f***ing grub” and “a c*** of a thing” during a confrontation at the Seymour races.
At the original RAD Board hearing, Nikolic specifically denied using the words he now admits he used.
“I told a lie because I cleaned up my language for the RAD Board,” Nikolic told the VCAT hearing.
“I simply cleaned up my language.”
Nikolic also admitted to lying to his legal team at the original hearing and to instructing them to pursue Bailey over his allegations that the jockey had called him a c***.
Dunn also challenged Nikolic’s evidence that Bailey had undertaken a vendetta against him and had threatened to “f*** your career”.
He said Nikolic had not been suspended or had any serious action taken against him by the stewards for the 20 months leading up to the Seymour incident.
“You would be prepared to deceive somebody so that they would think better of you,” Dunn said.
Nikolic replied that he would be – “the RAD Board especially”.
Accusing Nikolic of being petulant, childish and hot-tempered, Dunn said he had deliberately and falsely accused Bailey of making threats against him.
“Rather than behaving in a manly way … you would point the finger at Mr Bailey,” he said.
“This is a recent invention by you to try and wriggle out of the trouble you and your mouth have got yourself into.”
The hearing continues on Thursday.