• Horse Racing

Growing concern among jockeys on whip rules

ESPN staff
October 12, 2011
Synchronised benefited from an inspired ride from Tony McCoy to win the Welsh National © PA Photos

Just two days into the era of the controversial new whip rules, there is growing dissent among jockeys about the viability of the initiatives.

When the announcement was made that jockeys could strike horses eight times in total, seven in Flat races, including five times in the final furlong - leading figures were trotted out voicing their support.

But it would seem that the support was not across the board. Kieren Fallon has stated that penalties, which will see jockeys picking up suspensions, losing their riding fee and share of prize money, are too severe - while Richard Hughes - one of the first riders to pick up a ban - has distanced himself from the initial claims that jockeys were thoroughly consulted.

Champion jockey Tony McCoy drove Lost Glory to a narrow success at Huntingdon on Tuesday, but emerged from the weighing room extremely frustrated. Referring to his thrilling win on Synchronised in the Welsh National, McCoy said: "He did everything so slowly I had hit him three or four times before the first bend. He'd have no chance under these new rules."

Richard Johnson added: "My worry is that when the ground gets soft on tough courses like Towcester or Chepstow, we might have long-distance chases with no finishers."

Champions Day takes place on Saturday and McCoy had words of warning for those who stand to make millions from their breeding of superstars such as Frankel.

"Imagine if Frankel starts to tie up in the last furlong," McCoy said. "What does Tom Queally do? Take his punishment for a couple more cracks to keep him unbeaten, or stay within the rules and get tens of millions knocked off his value?"

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