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For the first time, RV stewards have changed the result of a race due to excessive whip use

For the first time, RV stewards have changed the result of a race due to excessive whip use

In a landmark decision, Racing Victoria stewards have, for the first time, changed the result of a race due to a “gross breach” of the whip rules at Flemington on Saturday.

Stewards lodged their own protest following the fifth race after it was established jockey Blake Shinn had struck his mount My Yankee Girl 27 times with his whip, including 12 times before the 100m-mark. Six of those strikes were on consecutive strides.

 

 

My Yankee Girl had come from behind to dead-heat in the Festive Season Sprint (1200m) with Black Caviar’s daughter Invincible Caviar but was to lose her hold on half the race about 30 minutes later when chief steward Robert Cram termed Shinn’s offending as a “gross breach” of the rules when he announced the stewards’ determination.

“Stewards have considered the matter and upon listening to the evidence and viewing the patrol videos, the stewards are of the view Blake Shinn used the whip on a total of 27 occasions, of which there was 12 prior to the 100 metres, and about six consecutive prior to the 100 metres,” he said.

“It is our view that you have gained an advantage in breaching the whip rules and by breaching the Australian rule of racing 132 (7). Our view is had you not breached those whip rules, then Invincible Caviar would have finished ahead of My Yankee Girl.

“Therefore, the objection is upheld.”

WATCH: Invincible Caviar’s win in the Festive Season Sprint (1200m) at Flemington

To the delight of favourite punters, stewards changed the result of the race to Invincible Caviar ($3.10) being the sole winner for jockey Jamie Kah, ahead of My Yankee Girl ($7), with Dance To Dubi ($20) close-up in third place.

Cram said there had been no change in policy from stewards and said stewards had in the past considered whether to protest over whip use. He said stewards could not ignore the “gross breach”.

Shinn said the stewards’ decision was upsetting and immediately apologised to the connections of My Yankee Girl, claiming he misjudged the 100m-mark. He said his time riding in Hong Kong, where there are no whip restrictions, might have contributed to his breach.

“I’ve been trying too hard in the heat of the battle,” a dejected Shinn said after the decision.

“There’s no whip restrictions in Hong Kong. You come here, you’re still learning to adapt to the different way.

“I feel for my connections and the people that have supported My Yankee Girl. It’s upsetting.

“I’m disappointed in myself and upset for everyone involved.”

Stewards are expected to charge Shinn later in the day over the excessive whip use, which could see him sidelined for some time and heavily fined.

The only other time stewards in Australia have upheld a protest for excessive whip use was in 2016 when Sunshine Coast stewards upheld a whip protest after a dead-heat.