NEW WHIP RULES: THE ECONOMICS OF CRIME
As reported in The Australian
this morning,Using Blake Shinn's ride in last year's Melbourne Cup on Viewed as an example, Bailey said a repeat of that level of whip use in the $5million race would certainly see the winning rider forfeit the riding fee, plus the maximum fine of $75,000 -- equating to half the 5 per cent commission of prizemoney.
Quite apart from the contradiction of last-year-good this-year-bad, it is a bit ambitious to think that the prospect of penalties (short of disqualification) will overwhelm a jockeys determination to win the Cup -- apart from anything else, the winning connections would be honor bound to cover the jockey's exes from the $3.5 million just trousered.
In short when $3.5 million overwhelms $225,000 by a factor of 15 -- the prospective penalties are an invitation to go for broke.
Loking back at some of the most memorable 'win at all costs' rides over the past 25 years, and attendant exemplary fines and suspensions, does anyone believe that the connections did not make good the situation for the jockey on a promise? In this vein, one of the most sensible and effective stewards decisions ever made was the relegation of Choisir in a Melbourne carnival race.
There is little point penalizing jockeys alone -- and no chance of a horse winning unfairly being disqualified.
Whatever else is done, it is past time for jockeys to subscribe to a code of practice -- including an annually signed undertaking to not use a whip excessively.
Any intention to apply the rule on a numbers basis will stand in ignorance of the difference betwen Des Lake and Peter Cook (but even PC went for broke in a Cup)
Changes to whip rules
Racing Australia will amend the rules governing the use of the whip as from 1 December, 2015.
The Board, composed of Chairs of Australia’s Principal Racing Authorities, has considered the issues for a lengthy period. It has consulted with various stakeholders including the Australian Jockeys Association which made written and verbal submissions to the Board.
In respect of Australian Rule of Racing AR.137A, the Board has decided:
1. To remove the distinction between forehand and backhand whip strikes so that there is a limit of five forehand or backhand whip strikes prior to the 100 metres.
2. To introduce stronger penalties for whip offences including greater emphasis on suspensions for serious breaches and for breaches in Group and Listed races.
3. The Chairmen of Stewards Committee to develop a uniform Penalty Template in the form of the current Careless Riding Penalty Template which ensures consistency across jurisdictions
4. Amendments to AR.137A to come into force on 1 December, 2015 to enable an education initiative to be undertaken to advise jockeys of their strict liability under the new whip rule with training programs for apprentices to be a focus.
Racing Australia Chairman John Messara AM described the rule changes “as an extension of the reforms of 2009”.
“The changes to the whip rules in 2009 introduced limits on the number and manner of whip strikes which in conjunction with a padded whip has ensured the welfare of the horse. However, too great a reliance on the backhand application of the whip has developed in response to the limits imposed on the forehand application.”
“After careful consideration, we have decided that backhand strikes should be treated in the same way as forehand strikes so as to leave no room for misinterpretation of the rules against excessive use.”
“Importantly, harsher penalties for breaches of the rule will be imposed in a consistent and uniform manner across Australia” Mr Messara said.
For further information:
0408 483 491
28 July 2015
Racing Australia Pty Ltd
ACN: 105 994 330
Level 11, 51 Druitt Street,
Sydney, NSW 2000
Tel: + 61 2 8072 1900
Fax:+ 61 2 8072 1999