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Queensland stewards have warned jockeys to obey the new whip rules at the Magic Millions carnival or face heavy penalties.

The new rule, which bars jockeys from hitting their horses more than five times before the 100m, came in on December 1.

During December, Racing Queensland stewards issued 48 reprimands, 21 fines and one suspension for breaches of the rule.

January also started on a bad note with five jockeys – Matt McGillivray, Jason Taylor, Ryan Wiggins, Brad Stewart and Dan Griffin – fined for breaching the rule.

McGillivray was also suspended for a week on a second excessive use charge.

Chief steward Allan Reardon said it appeared Queensland jockeys had not adapted well to the new rule.

“The strange thing is I spoke with Sydney’s chief steward, Ray Murrihy, and he said there had been very few problems in NSW,” Reardon said.

“Either our jockeys are slow learners or we are tougher. But locals and visitors know we will enforce the rules.”

Stewards are worried with the $10 million over nine races at the Gold Coast on Saturday, jockeys may throw caution to the wind.

Meanwhile, Racing Queensland is under pressure to stop programming metropolitan standard race meetings at south east Queensland beachside resorts during the Christmas-New Year week.

For the second time in a week some races at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday had to be put back because of a major traffic snarl on the highway north from Brisbane.

Jockeys, trainers and horses travelling from Brisbane and the Gold Coast faced up to 3-1/2 hours trips each way.

The problem could be solved when holiday racing returning to Eagle Farm which is scheduled to re-open in May.

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