Jockey Danny Nikolic has been banned for two years following his Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board enquiry over alleged threatening comments made to an official.
Nikolic was found guilty of making verbal threats towards chief steward Terry Bailey at Seymour Racecourse last month.
Bailey and Nikolic have been at the centre of a long running and heated row that has lasted for many years, however, the jockey appears to have lost the joust for good.
While it still only remains Bailey’s word against Nikolic’s, the Board were quick to accept the former’s version of events and hand down a hefty two year suspension.
The suspension means that not only will he not be able to take on any rides, but Nikolic will also be forbidden from riding track work or have a betting account in his name, nor will anyone be allowed to bet for him on his behalf.
With Nikolic, 37, currently in the final years of his career, such a suspension will most likely force him to retire completely from the sport.
Nikolic’s legal representative, Sandy Robertson, attempted to convince the Board to give the controversial jockey “a chance”.
Roberston was hoping that the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board would view the past four weeks that Nikolic has spent on the sidelines as sufficient enough punishment, considering the lack of evidence against him.
“What Danny has been through is akin to having him in stocks where he is subject to continuous public ridicule and public comment,” Robertson said.
However, he was given no such leniency, with the jockey set to miss out on two years of prize money and career opportunities.
Nikolic will now have 28 days to lodge an appeal against what is likely to mark the end of his riding career, which included a win in the $2.5 million Caulfield Cup in 2003.