Champion jockey and now trainer Chris Munce has had his say on the whip rules and it’s fair to say he isn’t happy.
In his blog for online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au, Muncey has outlined why there needs to be significant change to the rule, and he’s suggested 5 strikes before the 200m rather than the final 100.
Don’t worry I spent plenty of time in the stewards’ room for overuse of the whip and probably paid enough in fines to send Ray Murrihy on a long holiday somewhere!
I’ve been retired for a couple of years now and the whip issue is still regularly in the news. Week in week out jockeys are fined and suspended or both for using the stick more than is allowed.
The recent controversy involving Dreams Aplenty’s win in the Gunsynd Stakes is a catalyst for change.
Jockey Tiffani Brooker used the whip 27 times in the Eagle Farm straight, including 17 before the 100m point, which exceeded the permissible five strikes. She was fined a couple of grand and suspended for a week.
Dreams Aplenty won by a nose. Larry Cassidy rode the runner-up Violate and obviously had no clue how many times Tiffani hit the horse. Correct weight was declared and once the dust settled the proverbial hit the fan.
Connections of Violate lodged a complaint with the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission. Earlier this week QRIC announced that the result could not be changed and that stewards said the whip breach had not altered the result of the race.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but in my opinion if a protest was lodged the placings would have been reversed and Violate declared the winner.
Racing officialdom has done a lot to appease the animal rights activists, but we have to put the industry first and get this controversial rule sorted.
Five strikes before the 100m may work for some horses. For others, like the older stayers or colts and entires, an extra one or two backhanders before the 100m could mean the difference between winning and losing.
Possibly changing the rule to five strikes before the 200m would go a long way to solving the problem. Something needs to be done because it’s only a matter of time before this issue is back in the headlines.
Have Your Say: Should the Whip Rules be changed or not? – Leave a comment below.