Just Ban the Crops and be Done With It
Hugh Bowman has yet to win a Melbourne Cup and his recent ride on Marmelo cost him dearly, but it would seem that he was not the only one who made of farce of the whip rule.
Six jockeys in the 2018 Melbourne Cup were penalized by the stewards for using the stick too much.
The top three finishers, Kerrin McEvoy (winner, Cross Counter), Bowman (second, Marmelo) and Michael Walker (third, A Prince Of Arran) all drew fines.
McEvoy exceeded the limit of five before the final 100 metres four times. Bowman by seven. We are unclear on Walker.
McEvoy had $3,000 deducted from his $200,000 winner’s paycheck. Walker had to pay $400 from his $25,000 haul. Bowman was suspended, but he pled guilty to a whole raft of charges. The whip charge cost him eight meetings, but we have not seen a dollar figure of any sort, for one or all three charges; we simply assume the fine.
We recently witnessed the Breeders’ Cup meeting at Churchill Downs.
The winner of the Breeder’s Cup Turf, Enable, lifts her head and slows down if struck by the whip. Melbourne Cup and other horses need to organise and start doing the same thing.
The farcical whip rule would be thrown out faster than JarrydHayne can hop codes.
Big race jockeys routinely flaunt the whip rules and if we were to be handed $200,000 for riding a winner, we would be riding the horse straight to 400 Epson Road to return the $3,000.
For that matter, we would let the horse ride us.
It is obvious that the rule has no teeth and was crafted as a way to, 1. Placate the animal rights activists, and, 2. Create jobs for someone to do the counting.
Until the likes of Godolphin, Coolmore and any of the others experience true consequences, by which we mean race results altered, whip rules are like many laws, were enforcement is spotty and compliance is mainly voluntary.