Owners from the David Hill stable yesterday petitioned the chief executive of the Jockey Club, Lawrence Wong, asking him to intervene in the case of Australian jockey Patrick Payne. In an unprecedented move that reflects the loyalty Payne has engendered from his owners, approximately 30 of them signed the petition which was delivered by former international football star Derek Currie to the Sports Road headquarters of the Jockey Club. Payne, who has been stable jockey with Hill since the start of the present season, has been advised not to apply for a licence to ride in Hong Kong next season. His retaining trainer yesterday asked the Licensing Committee to give him an extension in the event that he will be unable to use the world-class Australian rider. In a related move, a separate letter from the Kowloon Club syndicate, which has high-quality sprinter Kowloon Pride and maiden Kowloon Jazz with Hill, has also been sent to the Jockey Club. Currie, whose Casey's Drum won at Sha Tin on Saturday with Payne aboard, said: 'It was a case of owners being extremely happy with the present arrangements. 'I don't think there is one single owner in the stable who would not love Paddy to be riding here next season. We just hope that something can be done because we believe he will be a major loss.' Quietly spoken Payne is not one for the limelight but said yesterday: 'It has been very gratifying to know that the owners are so much behind me. 'I can honestly say that it has been a complete pleasure riding for David [Hill] and for them and even better that we have had a reasonable bit of success. There's not much more I can say, it is entirely out of my hands.' Hill, too, finds himself simply waiting to see if there might be a change of mind. 'As I said before, when the news broke, I was swamped with telephone calls from owners. Ultimately, they wanted to try and do something and I understand they have now lodged a petition to the chief executive. 'There's no secret in the fact that I would love Paddy to stay on, we are a good team and it has worked out well this season,' he said. Ironically, since first hearing of his impending fate, Payne has rarely ridden better, with a double on Saturday and another winner at the previous midweek meeting. At Happy Valley last night, prior to the midweek meeting, selected members of the racing media were shown footage from Saturday's fifth race involving the scrimmage which resulted in champion jockey Basil Marcus, Australian rider Danny Nikolic and Victor C. F. Chan being warned. Chief stipendiary steward Clinton P. Pitts Jnr, stressed the incident involving Marcus and Nikolic did not warrant a suspension for either rider. No questions were permitted at the 25-minute session which was also attended by Marcus and trainer David Hayes, who saddled up the South African's mount in the race, Cavalo. The incident had attracted considerable attention in the media and on television. Pitts said: 'There was a special showing for the apprentices because it did get very tight.'