THE controversial sacking of young Northern Rivers steward, Tate Hudson, has taken a new twist with revelations that the two apprentice jockeys he was alleged to have ‘fraternized with’ were never interviewed by Racing New South Wales chief steward, Ray Murrihy.

The key piece of evidence Murrihy questioned Hudson over was that, in June this year, apprentice jockeys Adam Hyeronimus and Ben Looker visited Hudson's home and, after consuming a number of beers, stayed the night.

Hudson was subsequently sacked for fraternizing with the two jockeys. He was found guilty of breaching the strict Code of Conduct rules under which he was employed by Racing NSW.

He argued that there were mitigating circumstances surrounding the night and explained to Murrihy that he had only just been released from hospital when the two apprentices knocked at his door in a surprise visit.

Apprentice Looker has now gone public to the Daily Examiner in Grafton and verified everything the sacked steward told Murrihy.

“I was at the local racing office watching tapes when I asked chief steward Bill Fanning where Tate was as I hadn't seen him all week,” Looker said. “Mr Fanning told me he’d been in hospital on a drip for four days and was only going to get out later that day.

“Over dinner with Adam Hyeronimus we decided that because Tate had had a rough trot and had no friends or family in Grafton, that we should pop in and wish him well. That was all there was to it. In a way, I suppose, we were most at fault.

“The only reason we ended up staying the night was that we'd had a few beers and Tate told us if we drove and something happened he would be the one getting into trouble.”

Looker told The Examiner he was shocked when the news came through that Hudson had been sacked. “I can assure everyone while I like Tate as a person, we didn't have anything more than a professional friendship.

“Even though Grafton's so small and there are just a few places to go, we hardly if ever saw him out,” he said.

Hudson left this week on an overseas holiday that he had booked months ago. But he intends filing an unfair dismissal case against Racing NSW where Looker will be called as a key witness even if he was not questioned in the initial inquiry.