Monday, 6 August 2012
: Another witch hunt or is the lid about to lifted on deep seated corruption in Australian racing? The racing industry is nervously waiting yet another television expose to be aired tonight that alleges leading racing figures - including jockeys and a former trainer - have been involved in race fixing.
The ABC current affairs program 'Four Corners' will present a report tonight alleging leading Melbourne rider Danny Nikolic, at least one other leading jockey, a former trainer and several other well-known racing identities are under investigation by Victoria's Purana organised crime taskforce for allegedly conspiring to fix the outcome of a race last year.
ABC News reported that a "suspected race fix" was uncovered during the probe into former trainer Les Samba's murder in Melbourne last year. The ABC alleges participants won up to $200,000 betting on the race.
Samba, shot dead in Middle Park, a Melbourne suburb, on February 27 last year, was Danny Nikolic's former father-in-law.
Nikolic, the winner of more than 40 Group One races, married Samba's daughter Victoria in 2006. They separated some time before Samba's death.
The ABC says the suspected corruption being investigated by Victorian police "involves race fixing, money laundering, tax fraud and tipping where jockeys are paid secret commissions in return for giving punters inside information."
Detective Superintendent Gerard Ryan confirmed police are investigating a race won in Victoria last year by Smoking Aces, trained at the time by Brendan McCarthy and ridden by Nikolic.
Smoking Aces is now trained by Clinton McDonald. He finished last in a race at Seymour on Sunday, again ridden by Nikolic.