A week ago Robbie Fradd won the $350 000 Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap after lifting Tyzone to the line by flogging it 16 times with the whip prior to the 100 metre mark, in flagrant breach of the rules that allow a maximum number of 5 strikes before that point.
The QRIC Stewards fined Fradd a mere $500 for one of the worst acts of animal cruelty seen on a Brisbane racecourse this century.
This afternoon in a the unlisted $100 000 Travis Harrison Cup at Moonee Valley, jockey Billy Egan struck his winning mount (by dead-heat) Plain Ciel on nine occasions prior to the half furlong pole.
Racing Victoria Stewards threw the book at Egan, fining the jockey $1500 and suspending his license to ride for six meetings.
One jockey hits his horse 16 times and by doing so wins a Straddie.
$ 500 is all he cops.
The other wins a run of the mill affair and cops triple the fine, and a week on the sidelines.
The QRIC would have to be kidding wouldn’t they?
The connections of today’s other dead heater Shot of Irish, and those of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th placegetters in the Straddie would have to be kidding too.
The Australian Rules of Racing expressly provide for a protest to be lodged against a winner when its rider has breached the whip rule.
If anyone ever has a case to lodge a protest against a winner in these circumstances it was the Shot of Irish people today, and the Straddie 4-way photo finishers Madam Rouge, Niccanova and Vega One.
But none of them did.
The Stewards could have lodged their own protest in the two races, but didn’t.
They are all mad, and totally irresponsible too.
The stipes, for reasons known only to themselves, are clearly unwilling to act of their own volition on whip rule breaches and abuses. You tell me why if you can, because I don’t know. It’s the Stewards job to protect the welfare of horses, and they are just not doing it, and I for one think it is a disgrace.
So it’s left to the connections of beaten or dead-heated gallopers to make the call, and to stand up and say no, we’ve had enough of this nonsense, and to lodge a protest. Doing so is the only way we will ever start getting the whip rule properly enforced, and get jockeys to abide by it.
If a protest had been lodged and Tyzone had the Stradbroke Handicap taken off it due to Robbie Fradd gaining an unfair advantage by steamrolling the rules, jockeys would soon begin to pay serious attention to counting their strikes, just as they would if the officials had relegated Plain Ciel into second place at the Valley today.
Cause and effect.
Rule breaches and punitive sanctions.
Animal welfare or animal cruelty.
What’s so hard about the concept to understand?
Why are racing officials so reluctant to take the issue of whip and whip rule abuse seriously by stamping down hard on those that breach them?
The Stewards role is not to make the rules.
Their role is to enforce them.
It’s high time that they started doing so.