Billionaire retailer and thoroughbred owner Gerry Harvey has given some insight into the personality of bankrupt miner Nathan Tinkler, saying he was a "schizo" who thought he was better than everyone else.
Mr Harvey, who is reportedly still owed $9.5 million by Mr Tinkler, told a racing crowd in Canberra on Thursday that the former coal magnate still believed he could make a comeback.
"I hope he does for his sake but I don't like his chances," Mr Harvey said.
"He was made bankrupt yesterday. He's still out there thinking he's going to make it. Why did he feel he needed to be such a big shot?."
In a mostly jocular exchange with Andrew Bensley, of Sky Sports Radio at Thoroughbred Park in Canberra, Mr Harvey turned serious for a moment as he told the luncheon Mr Tinkler came to him early in his career to ask for advice about buying horses and Mr Harvey told him to "have a little bit of a dabble".
"He was like, 'Oh, thanks mate I really value your advice' and the next thing I know he's turning up at horse sales spending $10 million and $20 million. Then he turns up and spends another $10 million or $20 million and suddenly he's gone to the Inglis, Magic Millions [and] New Zealand [sales] and spent $50 million in one hit, no one's ever done that," Mr Harvey said.
"Good to see he took your advice Gerry," Bensley said, deadpan.
"I thought about that and thought, 'He must have thought I was the world's greatest dickhead. Whatever I told him, he did the opposite'."
Bensley pointed out that a good portion of the millions Mr Tinkler spent on expensive horseflesh was at the Magic Millions auction house owned by Mr Harvey.
Mr Harvey said Mr Tinkler had been "very welcome".
Bensley said a lot of people had "got stuck into" Mr Tinkler but it was still a shame he was not involved in the thoroughbred industry.
"Please God send us another couple," Mr Harvey said, with a laugh.
Mr Harvey then told the crowd he believed Mr Tinkler's split personality had been his downfall.
"There's something in his character where he has to rubbish everyone he knows," he said.
"About a year ago I was on the golf course with him on the Gold Coast and I said, 'It's a shame because you're a schizo'; and he said, 'What do you mean?'
"And I said, 'Well there's a nice person in there but there's an arsehole as well. He said, 'What are you talking about?'
"I said, 'Mate, you can be such a nice person, I've seen you talk to people, they all like you. But then the way you behave and what you say, they all hate you.
"Why have you got this urge to be these two different people? And he said, 'Who says that?' And I said, 'Me and everyone else I know'."
Mr Harvey also confirmed he used to lend Mr Tinkler money but "that's all finished now".
He was in Canberra as the guest speaker for an autumn lunch hosted by the local branch of the Thoroughbred Club of Australia ahead of Sunday's Black Opal Stakes at Thoroughbred Park. Mr Harvey's horse Landlocked is in the $200,000 listed Canberra Cup, trained by Queanbeyan's Joe Cleary