Victoria Racing’s chief steward has said he’s angry shots were fired at his Templestowe home, but is adamant he won’t be discouraged from his efforts to clean up the sport.
Around 9:15 last night, it is believed six shots from a semi-automatic firearm were discharged into Mr Bailey’s front door while his family were out the back of the house.
“I was pretty angry,” Mr Bailey said.
“There’s no need for that – it’s below the belt.
“It’s a job we’re in and we’ve had similar incidents over the years. We’re accustomed to it now.”
“There are 900 trainers in Victoria, a lot of people relying on us to make sure the place is run on a level playing field and we’ll keep doing that.
“I’m not going to walk away from that. The show must go on.”
Neighbours said the alleged attacker probably walked right up to Mr Bailey’s front door to fire bullets through it.
“If it was a drive-by there would have been casings on the road,” neighbour Daniel Martinez told AAP.
“Someone walked up to their front door.”
Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna described the attack as “frightening”.
“The information that I have is that there were a number of shots fired last night, early Sunday evening, through the front door,” Mr Perna said.
“Fortunately Terry and his family were at the back of the house at that time.”
“A disgusting thing to have happened so we’re going to do everything we can to help police conduct their investigation.”
Police ballistics and forensics teams were called to the house on Monday morning to investigate.
Extra security has been put in place to guard Mr Bailey.
Racing Minister Martin Pakula says the shooting is of “great concern”.
“If anybody thinks that Terry Bailey or racing officials will be deterred in any way from providing and ensuring the highest standards and integrity for Victorian racing, they have another thing coming,” Mr Pakula told reporters.
“Terry Bailey is one tough cookie.
“If I know Terry Bailey, those people that might want to deter him or racing integrity officials from doing their job and doing it properly, will be sadly disappointed.”
The shooting comes at the busiest time of the year for Racing Victoria stewards as they oversee the Spring Racing Carnival.
Racing Victoria chief executive Bernard Saundry said the organisation was helping police with the investigation.
“We will afford them whatever support is necessary to ensure that the people responsible for this disgraceful act are brought to justice,” he said.
“The welfare of Terry and his family remains our number one priority and we ask that their privacy be respected at this distressing time.”
One neighbour, Paul Evans, told 3AW that “they were pretty loud shots”.
“I came out … and Terry had a baseball bat or something, just to protect family,” Mr Evans said.
“I said ‘Terry, what’s happened,’ and he said ‘Oh, I’ve got some shell cases for you’.”
The Age racing writer Patrick Bartley suggested Mr Bailey may have been targeted for efforts to clean up the sport.
“He’d been up most of the night,” Bartley told 3AW.
“Terry’s a very strong man, very forthright and very keen to change culture in this state and make everything accountable.
“I suppose now that is the price that we pay, which we shouldn’t have to pay.”
– with ABC and AAP