EXCLUSIVE: WHAT IMPACT DOES WHIP USE HAVE ON AUSTRALIAN THOROUGHBRED RACING…..Part 1

30/12/15

As was exclusively advised by Justracing back at the start of 2015, ironically not long before the racing industry was blown apart by sickening Four Corners television footage, “animal welfare issues” will continually haunt the three codes of racing forever more.

To that end, Justracing has received exclusive information from a normally reliable source that thoroughbred and harness racing and possibly other equine disciplines outside of racing, will be targeted in a 2016 television special. And if my information is accurate – as it has been for nearly 20 years that this website has been operating – it’s safe to say the television special is what I would call “highly unlikely” to paint the thoroughbred or harness codes in a positive light.

Obviously from a television ratings perspective it’s far better if you can let the 90% of the population that aren’t interested in racing see some pretty dramatic and heart-wrenching footage, the same as 100-odd houses burning down in Victoria around Lorne in recent days will attract far more viewers as a headline story than some warm and fuzzy story about the 90-year-old wheelchair grandmother who got a new cat for Christmas because the old one died two days out from Christmas. So my advice to the racing industry for 2016 is simple and can be described in just five words: “brace for more bad press”.

For nearly 20 years I’ve called it “the incestuous world of thoroughbred racing” and nothing ever changes to let me improve on that terminology. The thoroughbred racing industry is habitually its own worst enemy with factions and different powerbrokers all seemingly pulling in different directions. But anyone afforded the normal amount of grey matter at birth would be able to conclude that given the ordinary light that the racing industry is held in, within our society, something needed to be done about whip rules in Australia. And to their credit the thoroughbred racing industry adopted new whip rules to take effect on 1 December 2015. The usual chorus of criticism came from within the industry upon the introduction of the new rules, but for the industry to go forward their introduction had to be “not negotiable”. The key point of the new rules post 1/12/15 was that a jockey can’t hit a horse with the whip more than five times before the 100-metre mark. The distinction between forehand and backhand strikes was removed to ensure the limit was five strikes, regardless of method, prior to the 100-metre mark.

Since the whip rule change scores of jockeys across the various thoroughbred racing jurisdictions of Australia have been fined by stewards and/or reprimanded on the matter.

So given the fact that Justracing is a recognized by any fair-minded “good judge” as a long standing innovator who leads the way in the thought process of bettering the racing industry in Australia in either the short or long term, what I decided to do across today and tomorrow is write another exclusive and do work that mainstream media across racing sections of newspapers, or racing television or racing radio stations should do, but of course those outlets just write and speak their usual warm and fuzzy crap about how great everything is and cumulatively do nothing constructive to assist the industry by broaching controversial topics. So I’ve gone back and researched a very interesting topic, namely “What impact does whip use have on Australian thoroughbred racing”.

Australia has had a big number of Saturday city race meetings held since the new whip laws came in on 1 December, so across today and tomorrow I’ve researched the question “What impact does whip use have on Australian thoroughbred racing”. To that end, if the whip is actually such an important tool in thoroughbred racing, I’ve therefore concluded that the most important horse in any thoroughbred race is the winner, as after all, who cares what runs tenth. Additionally I feel the winning margin across a large cross-section of races that have been run and won is the best way to determine whether the whip makes any difference to the result. If a horse wins by a reasonable margin it’s fair to assume the whip made absolutely no difference and if the horse won by a nose it’s similarly fair to conclude that whip use may have made the difference between winning and losing.

So let me start last Saturday and work my way backwards to the first Saturday city race meeting that happened after the new whip laws came in, namely 5/12/15 and see what the winning margin was on every Saturday city race run along the eastern seaboard of Australia.

MEETING/DATE/
TRACK RATING

HORSES THAT FINISHED

FIRST AND SECOND

WINNING MARGIN

WHIP MAKE DIFFERENCE

(Yes/No/Maybe)

Gold Coast

Mr Lebrock/Scotty Be Gotti

2.25 lengths

N

26/12/15

Double Banger/Liberation

1.50 lengths

N

Good

Legendary Luke/Siegfried

Neck

N

 

Zelady’s Night Out/Slumber Party

1 length

N

 

Tinto/Retune

long neck

N

 

Diamond Oasis/Gojo Mimo

1.25 lengths

N

 

Tina Melina/Eloping

0.75 length

N

 

Madotti/Most Important

0.50 length

N

 

Bachman/ Le Val

Long head

M

Randwick

Jeanneau/Highland Beat

1.75 lengths

N

26/12/15

Sir Bacchus/Barood

0.50 length

N

Soft

Mighty Lucky/Junoob

2.25 lengths

N

 

Music Man/Destined To Win

1 length

N

 

Tree of Jesse/Thud

0.75 length

N

 

Medcaut/Monton

Sh half head

M

 

Cradle Me/Dances On Stars

0.75 length

N

 

Rule The River/Voilier

0.75 length

N

 

Testashadow/Disgraceful

Long head

M

Caulfield

Jacqui’s Joy/All In The Reflexs

1 length

N

26/12/15

Hell Of An Effort/Ponte Roma

2.5 lengths

N

Soft/Good

Yulong Baby/Ring Da Belle

1 length

N

 

Danestroem/Anaphora

Sh half head

M

 

Pink Perfection/Sentfromthestars

1.25 lengths

N

 

Golden Spin/Chase The Horizon

Neck

N

 

Leica Day/Entre Nous

1 length

N

 

Tuscan Sling/Reldas

Sh half head

M

 

Signoff/Lidari

Neck

M

 

Volcanic Ash/Duke of Brunswick

Nose

M

Doomben

Volkhere/Uno Five

1.25 lengths

N

19/12/15

Dieters/Heart Skipt A Beat

1.25 lengths

N

Good

Candika/Royal Tithe

Short neck

N

 

Sea Red/Sheiswhatsheis

0.75 length

N

 

Eagle Way/Charcuterie

Nose

M

 

Profiler/Maximilian

0.50 length

N

 

Storm Fighter/Cantbuybetter

Short neck

N

 

Heza Bobby Dazzler/Court Martial Miss

0.75 length

N

 

Centre Pivot/Lordag

1 length

N

 

Glendara/Court’s Star

Short neck

N

Rosehill

Souchez/Mooshakissa

0.50 length

N

19/12/15

Kaleidoscope/Agent

Half head

M

Good

Ocean Grand/Clearly Innocent

Long neck

N

 

Ammirata/Just A Blur

Half head

M

 

Royal Tudor/More Than Fabulous

Short half hd

M

 

Fitou/Il Mio Destino

Half neck

M

 

Open Book/Wudang Mountain

1.25 lengths

N

 

Kontiki Dane/Sebrina

Nose

M

 

Start Wondering/Paceman

Short neck

M

FLEMINGTON

19/12/15

Meeting abandoned due heat

 

 

 

So from the five meetings that we ran across the last two Saturdays there were a total of 47 races run and I concluded of those 47 races, the whip had no effect in 33 of the races or 70.21% of all races run and the whip may have had an effect on the other 29.79% of races (14 of 47) due to the narrow margin between first and second.

Some races where say a claiming apprentice won the race such as three-kilo claimer Koby Jennings winning on Ocean Grand (Race 3 – Rosehill – 19/12/15) I marked the whip as not making any difference “N” even though the winning margin was only a long neck as a strong, fully fledged jockey (Avdulla) rode the second horse. In another instance I noted the whip made no difference to the result of say Race 10 at Doomben on 19/12/15 as whilst Glendara beat Court’s Star home by a short neck, Court’s Star merely followed the fence home, so the gelding had his chance.

An interesting trend has developed in just the two Saturday meetings that have been researched in this article, in that there was an extremely rare number of close photo-finish decisions in Sydney at the Rosehill meeting on 19/12/15 when no fewer than seven of the nine races or 77.78% of all races were won by narrow margins. That clearly distorts the 70.21% figure above, but we’ll see where we finish up after a plethora of other Saturday city races from 12/12/15 and 5/12/15 meetings are done tomorrow.

To be continued…………tomorrow.

Today on www.brisbaneracing.com.au there’s a story on the big numbers of mares that have headed to three Victorian stallions.

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