Hughes deserves gold, not a ban
8 August 2012
Richard Hughes had a great day yesterday. He rode four winners at Bath, one of which was our blog selection. Unfortunately on one of those winners he was given a two-day whip ban, which to my eye was completely ludicrous. I wrote at length about the whip months ago when the BHA tried to incorporate a totally unworkable new whip rule.
Thankfully we have moved on from that nonsense, but jockeys are still being punished for doing their best, as Richard Hughes was yesterday. Do not get me wrong, I do not want to see horses abused, if they are, then the jockeys involved should have the book thrown at them, but I also want jockeys to be able to give everything in a finish without fear of sanction.
Let's face facts the horse in question (Cockney Fire) whom Hughes won on is a tricky customer who needs lots of help from the saddle. She was three lengths down going into the final furlong, but was persuaded to go about her business by Hughes to get up in the final strides. She needed every single crack of the whip that she got and Hughes has said that she would not have won if he had not used his whip as he did.
I am not sure what Hughes was supposed to do, it would appear that the authorities would have preferred him to lose, but that does not sit neatly in terms of their push for greater integrity in the game. I am sure of one thing, if the sport is to be one that encourages those within it not to do their best then we are in trouble. Yes we need whip rules, and we had perfectly good ones in the past before our great leaders started meddling, but they need to be flexible because jockeys should not be punished for the type of ride that Cockney Fire got yesterday. Hughes deserves a gold medal for getting that filly to win, not a two-day ban.
It makes me angry and frustrated that such a ban can be handed out because in its giving is a total lack of understanding of race riding and of the racehorse, and those displaying such ignorance are those who are running this show. God help us!
Waspy was our winner on the blog yesterday and hopefully we can follow up today with Danz Choice in the 2.20 at Brighton. He won on his nursery debut last time out and still looks well treated. In-form Richard Hughes is on board and although this horse is only around the 2/1 mark he is still worth supporting.
2.20 Brighton - Danz Choice
I am in the studio tonight for some Sunbury synthetics. Dave Yates will be my guest and if you have anything to say to us or questions for us, email@example.com is the place to go.
See you tonight.