Nikolic free to ride leading Melbourne Cup hope

Australian jockey Danny Nikolic will be free to ride Mummify in the Tooheys New Melbourne Cup despite being charged with failing to give the horse every chance to win in his prep-race last Saturday.

Australian jockey Danny Nikolic will be free to ride Mummify in the Tooheys New Melbourne Cup despite being charged with failing to give the horse every chance to win in his prep-race last Saturday.

Nikolic partnered the Lee Freedman-trained gelding in the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington but the pair finished a disappointing eighth of 11 runners behind Casual Pass.

The local stewards launched an inquiry and at a Racing Victoria hearing, Nikolic was charged with failing to give the horse every chance to win.

Nikolic's comments after the race that something was amiss with the four-year-old also caused a fallout with Freedman, who could find nothing wrong with the horse despite the jockey claiming he believed it was injured.

The hearing has been adjourned until next week, allowing Nikolic to receive legal advice and freeing him to ride Mummify in the two-mile feature.

Freedman and Nikolic reportedly had a blazing row outside the inquiry, but the rider confirmed he will be taking the saddle in the showpiece race.

"It's not the idyllic preparation for a jockey to ride a horse in the Melbourne Cup, so I'm a little bit mixed up with the way I feel right now," he said.

Mummify was one of the favourites for the race after his Caulfield Cup victory but has dropped back in the pecking order following Saturday's performance and is now a best-priced 10-1 with Skybet for the race.

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