Landmark whips violation, Horse loses race

A “gross breach” of whip rules and landmark stewarding decision from Racing Victoria officials resulted in Blake Shinn receiving a 12-meeting suspension and $2000 fine at Flemington on Saturday.

Shinn used the whip 12 times, including six consecutively before the 100m-mark aboard My Yankee Girl, who dead-heated for first with Invincible Caviar in Saturday’s $130,000 Furphy Festive Season Sprint (1200m).

Stewards lodged their own objection and declared Invincible Caviar the outright winner as a result of Shinn’s actions.

In a post-meeting stewards’ inquiry, Shinn attributed his excessive whip use as a “simple misjudgment of the distance from the winning post”.

“It was just a simple misjudgment; I rode him in my normal manner that I normally do. If you break down the numbers, I’ve gone seven over prior to the 100m-mark,” Shinn said.

“I haven’t used the whip until inside the 300m-mark. My riding has been really no different to how I would ride any other race but my whip, the six consecutive, have been approximately from the 150m-mark to the 100m-mark.

“So, I have just mistaken the 150m-mark for the 100m-mark, where I’ve got six consecutive whips in. It’s as simple as that.

“There’s no big sign out there to say, ‘we’re at the 100m’, alerting us to say, ‘here we are’ or telling us how many strikes we’ve used.”

Racing Victoria chief steward Robert Cram chaired the inquiry and asked Shinn: “Would you agree that jockeys are well versed in knowing where the 100m-mark is?”

Racing Victoria deputy chairman of stewards Rob Montgomery further reminded Shinn that Flemington has two ‘trigger points’ for jockeys riding in races, the clocktower and the red-coloured rail.

The clocktower is situated approximately at the 150m-mark on the outside rail while the red-coloured rail starts from the 100m-mark to the winning post.

“My mind at that point of the race is about winning the race, I’m not thinking ‘where’s the blue marker?’ I’ve got to use my judgment in that moment to where I believe where I was on the track and I simply got it wrong,” Shinn said.

Shinn’s dozen meeting suspension and $2,000 fine is the fifth sanction Shinn has incurred for breaching whip rules since arriving in Victoria in mid-August.

Shinn was sidelined for eight meetings and fined $200 for excessive whip use at just his second meeting since returning from Hong Kong to Melbourne at Sandown Lakeside on Wednesday, August 24.

The 35-year-old has since received four careless riding suspensions, including at Sandown Lakeside on Wednesday which is subject to a Victorian Racing Tribunal appeal hearing on Tuesday.


Wednesday, August 24 (Sandown Lakeside): Used the whip 10 times prior to the 100m-mark aboard Bors in a benchmark 64 handicap (1400m). Suspended for eight meetings and fined $200.

Saturday, September 10 (Flemington): Careless riding (mid-race) aboard Spacewalk in the Listed Poseidon Stakes (1100m), suspended for 12 meetings.

Saturday, October 15 (Caulfield): Careless riding (low-range) aboard Vow and Declare in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), suspended for eight meetings.

Tuesday, November 1 (Flemington): Careless riding (mid-range) aboard Munhamek in benchmark 90 handicap (1400m), suspended for 11 meetings.

Wednesday, December 14 (Sandown Lakeside): Careless riding (mid-range) aboard Pocket Change in benchmark 64 handicap (1400m). Suspended for 13 meetings. Decision subject to appeal on Tuesday.

Saturday, December 17 (Flemington): Used the whip 12 times, including six times consecutively, before the 100m-mark aboard My Yankee Girl in open handicap (1200m). Suspended for 12 meetings and fined $2000.

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