Banned jockey Danny Nikolic punched a fellow rider and threw him against an office wall in an early morning assault at Caulfield racecourse, a court has heard.
Jockey Mark Pegus said Mr Nikolic had threatened to "belt me" in a heated telephone discussion in January 2011 and that the next morning he was asked by Mr Nikolic to follow him into a trainer's office after the pair arrived for early morning track work.
"I was a few paces behind Danny and he flew at me throwing punches and hit me in the head and threw me against the wall," Mr Pegus told the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday.
Mr Nikolic, 38, is charged with assaulting Mr Pegus and his girlfriend, Rikki-Lee Hull, and a police officer over three alleged incidents between January and April 2011. Two other charges were struck out in court on Thursday.
Mr Nikolic's lawyer, Sandy Robertson, said his client would plead not guilty to the charges.
During a committal hearing before magistrate Angela Bolger, Mr Pegus said he suffered a black eye and cut lip when punched "up to half a dozen" times by Mr Nikolic after 5am on January 18, 2011, in the office of trainer Byron Cozamanis.
Mr Pegus said Mr Nikolic had accused him the previous day of saying things about his brother and manager, John Nikolic jnr.
The court heard Danny Nikolic was abusive and threatening towards the other rider during the phone call and told Mr Pegus not to show up at track work the next day.
Mr Pegus said when he did arrive at the racecourse and followed Mr Nikolic into the office, he was stunned to be punched in the face and side of the head, but spoke to his fellow hoop later that morning on the phone.
But Mr Nikolic "told me to get lost, that I was no good, he was giving me life and never wanted to speak to me again", Mr Pegus said.
Mr Pegus said it was "completely incorrect" when asked by Mr Robertson if he began a "scuffle" inside Mr Cozamanis' office.
Earlier, a Supreme Court appeal was averted when the prosecution and defence told Ms Bolger they wanted the assault charge involving Ms Hull heard at a later date, as a prosecution witness could not be found.
Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Damon Hunter said the informant had done everything possible to find the witness. Mr Robertson said although a prosecution witness, the woman was "fundamental" to the defence case and called for the case to be adjourned. But Senior Constable Hunter objected, as the case had been adjourned too often previously.
When Ms Bolger ruled the matter should proceed, Mr Robertson said he would appeal against the magistrate's decision in the Supreme Court. But the parties returned before Ms Bolger when they agreed to have the alleged assault against Ms Hull heard at a later date.
Mr Nikolic is currently serving a ban for threatening Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey and his family.