Time for whip rule review: O’Keeffe

Jockeys’ representative Des O’Keeffe has called for a review of the contentious whip rule in the wake of more suspensions in Victoria.

O’Keeffe, the chief executive of the Victorian Jockeys Association, said the rule was an embarrassment after apprentice Ben Allen copped his second suspension in eight days at Sandown on Saturday.

He said he hoped the issue would be discussed at Friday’s Racing Australia meeting with a view to establishing a working party to come up with a solution.

“This rule is an embarrassment for racing,” O’Keeffe said.

“Hopefully Racing Australia will see the folly of it when they meet on Friday.”

Under the current rule, jockeys are only allowed to use the whip five time before the 100m mark, but can use it without limitation after that point.


Jockeys in jumps races can use the whip up to 10 times before the 100m mark and can continue to use it over the last 100m but not in consecutive strides.

Since the latest version of the rule came into force last December, O’Keeffe said there had been more than 1700 breaches Australia-wide which had resulted in around $270,000 in fines.

Allen was suspended for eight meetings on Saturday for using the whip twice more than allowed before the 100 metres.

It comes after he was suspended for five meetings, again at Sandown, the previous Saturday.

On top of the two suspensions the 17-year-old has been fined $3500.

Three other apprentices were also fined at Sandown on Saturday for whip breaches.

Winning riders Jake Bayliss and Dylan Dunn were penalised $600 and $500 respectively while Beau Mertens was fined $200.

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