I'm innocent, says jockey
JOCKEY John Keating expects to be cleared of any wrongdoing when Queensland Racing stewards resume the Baby Boom inquiry today.
Coffs Harbour-based Keating and trainer John Nikolic were questioned after Baby Boom was a well-beaten $1.80 favourite at the Sunshine Coast on January 3 and claims were made the horse had been supported to lose on a betting exchange.
Keating and Nikolic were incensed at being dragged into another inquiry involving the trainer’s jockey brother, Danny.
John Nikolic has since handed in his trainer’s licence with the comment “. .. I’m pretty much over this crap.”
As far as Keating is concerned, he’s just relieved to finally be getting his hearing under way.
“It’s a shame this couldn’t have been concluded earlier but I understand the stewards have to explore all the evidence to the fullest,” he said.
“Five weeks is a long time to be forced to sit around while your reputation is under a cloud and you can’t do much about it, so I’m happy the day has arrived.
“I am totally confident there’ll be no case to answer but can’t comment any further than that.”
Keating said he’s assisted stewards by supplying personal details and while there’s been consultation with Australian Jockeys Association representatives, there are no plans to be represented by legal counsel at today’s gathering.
Sources have told the Coffs Coast Advocate that despite no longer being a licensed person, trainer John Nikolic will attend the inquiry and intends to give evidence on Keating’s behalf if asked to do so.
It’s believed two punters linked to bets placed on a betting exchange have also been asked to attend but have given no indication whether or not they will comply with the request.