Jockeys put on notice with whip warning
A TEXT message has reportedly been sent to all 24 Melbourne Cup jockeys on Tuesday morning threatening record fines and suspensions for any excessive use of the whip in the race that stops the nation.
Racing Victoria was set to issue a late warning to the jockeys with a text message that makes it perfectly clear excessive whipping will not be tolerated.
A series of fines and suspensions were handed out following the 2018 Melbourne Cup after a number of jockeys were busted openly disregarding the excessive whipping rule as they charged to the line.
The first three finishers in last year's race, including Kerrin McEvoy, who piloted Cross Counter to win the race, were all fined.
Riders are allowed to use the riding crop an unlimited amount of times in the final 100m, but can only use the whip five times before the 100m mark.
"If a jockey goes over it has to be a significant penalty and they've been made well aware of the whip rule which they ride under every day," chief steward Robert Cram told The Age.
"Given the magnitude of this race we know the spotlight is on us.
"The penalty is going to be a significant suspension and fines, but we also have to take into account the magnitude of the breach. We don't want to see what happened last year happen again.
"The jockeys will all be sent a text message through the [Victorian] Jockeys Association. We'll talk to them before the race as well to remind them of their obligations with the whip and about riding safely. We don't want jockeys flaunting the rules just to win the Melbourne Cup."
It comes after Racing NSW also issued a late warning to jockeys at last month's The Everest at Randwick.
Six-time Melbourne Cup-winning owner Lloyd Williams and English trainer Charlie Fellowes have been among the high profile racing identities to recently publicly call for more action to be taken against jockeys found to have breached the excessive whip rule.