nemesis you say you ain't slow? then why do I have to use words with 3 syllables to get my point across, what do you perceive as Pain? do I need to go through all the different measures of pain From a needle prick to being decapitated by a blunt knife?
The pain caused by a padded whip would be so negligible as to hardly count as pain and don't forget, they are not being hit by real (normal)adults, we are talking about dehydrated midgets, the original 90lb weaklings using a padded whip, when a doctor slapped your arse a few minutes after you were born would cause more pain, padded whips have a more psychological effect on a horse than a physical effect, the first time a jockey hits a horse it responds, after that, not so much(on most horses) jockeys need to keep slapping(but not belting) the horse to keep it's momentum going otherwise if you hit the horse at the furlong, then stop a lot of horses will slow, not because they are bludging but because they think the race is over,
Jockeys should carry whips but the effectiveness of it's use is overrated, horses do not need to be belted every stride, the whip is to get the message across that we are now at the serious end of our work
And Pete I know this is a waste of time that I will never get back, Peter Cook only used the whip as a last resort, not sure what horse you are referring to(Just A dash or Black Knight) and I am not denying that he may have used it more on some poccassions....but even if he used it from the half mile all the way to the post, that was a last resort on THAT horse, it may have been lazy, some horses(like people) are just slow learners.....you could beat them over the head until the cows come home and they still wouldn't twig about what is going on around them.......
as for spurs I will tell you what my real beef is with them, when I was a kid they were used in conjunction with a battery, you dig the horse in the ribs with the spurs attached to a battery on the track in the morning....then on raceday the minute you touch the horse with the spurs they think a shock is coming and respond accordingly, I never actually saw it done(otherwise I would have reported it) then...but I was told about it many times and have no doubt the stories were true, Spurs are cruel, the argument that Nemesis made re Drugs, Concrete tracks etc being "cruel" is spurious at best, first Drugs are illegal and if caught the penalties are quite severe....and to call a track "Concrete" in this day and age is plain silly and even if it was there was ZERO intent to be cruel....cruelty is all about intent, Spurs are used with the intent to be cruel, they try their best not to present even a real "Good" track, what they call "good" is in effect a dead/slow track
The problem with that is evolution, Australia is the driest inhabited country on earth, in the past we raced on fast1 tracks week after week with no ill effects.....it is because we keep serving up soft tracks that evolution makes a horses bones softer because nature perceives that they no longer need strong bones, there are fish that live that far down in the depths that they have no eyes cos nature perceived that eyes on a fish in complete blackness was pointless....just look at the Galapagos islands, the same species on different islands have evolved to survive off different food sources, some cam climb trees while others grow long beaks etc
What you and most people don't get is the softer you make the track, the softer you will have to make the tracks, it will never end, it's a self fulfilling prophecy, it is soft bones that are the problem, not hard tracks, as I said when tracks really were flint hard there was no problem, just look at how many starts the past champions had and very few ever retired because they broke down, they often raced multiple time in a week and won them all!
By comparison to today's champions who are kept in cotton will and still retire early, it's not just champions, it's all horses
In saying that we have gone down the wrong track for far too long to turn around now, softer and softer tracks will be the order of the day until they have punters betting on swimming races!