ON 6 September 2023, the Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) considered four charges issued by Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards against licensed trainer-driver John Nicholson under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 173(1) and 173(4).
Charges 1, 2 and 3 were issued under AHRR 173(1), which states:
A driver shall not bet on a race in which the driver participates.
Charge 1 – It was alleged that between 27 August 2020 and 14 October 2020, Mr Nicholson placed four (4) win bets and six (6) each-way bets on horses he drove in races.
Charge 2 – It was alleged that between 13 August 2020 and 27 March 2021, Mr Nicholson placed forty- two (42) multi-bets that included races in which he participated in as a driver, consisting of thirty-seven (37) multi-bets where the offending leg or legs were bets only on horses that he drove in races; and five (5) multi-bets where at least one of the offending legs was a bet on a horse other than the horse that he drove in a race.
Charge 3 – It was alleged that between 9 August 2020 and 19 January 2021, Mr Nicholson placed thirty-six (36) exotic bets in races in which he participated in as a driver, consisting of twenty-nine (29) trifecta bets and seven (7) First Four bets.
Charge 4 was issued under AHRR 173(4), which states:
A licensed person shall not authorise, enable, permit or allow another person to place a bet on a betting account of the licensed person.
It was alleged that Mr Nicholson, on or about 30 April 2021, allowed another person to place bets on his betting account.
Mr Nicholson pleaded guilty to all charges, before submissions on penalty were heard from Mr Nicholson and from Andrew Cusumano on behalf of the HRV Stewards.
Charge 1 – 18 months suspension, with six months of that suspended for 24 months. To be served concurrently with Charge 3.
Charge 2 – 18 months suspension, with six months of that suspended for 24 months. To be served concurrently with Charge 3.
Charge 3 – 18 months suspension, with six months of that suspended for 24 months. If a relevant offence is committed in that 24-month period, the six month suspension will be activated.
Charge 4 – $800 fine
The suspensions were imposed on Mr Nicholson’s training and driving licences, effective immediately.
- HRV Media