Jockeys sent text message ‘warning’ hours before Melbourne Cup

Melbourne Cup jockeys received a text message from racing stewards hours before the race — warning them about the controversial whipping issue that was a highlighted problem last year.

This morning (local time), jockeys were threatened with fines and suspensions for anyone who breaches racing regulations at Flemington, The Age reported.

Last year, six jockeys were fined in the Melbourne Cup race after they broke the excessive whipping rule that protects the welfare of the horses.

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This included winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy on Cross Counter, who whipped his horse nine times before the 100-metre mark — when the maximum strikes allowed are four, according to regulations.

Racing Victoria has warned jockeys they will face heavy punishment if found to be in breach of the rules this year, according to The Age.

“If a jockey goes over it has to be a significant penalty and they’ve been made well aware of the whip rule which they ride under every day,” Racing Victoria chief steward Robert Cram said.

“Given the magnitude of this race, we know the spotlight is on us.

“The penalty is going to be a significant suspension and fines, but we also have to take into account the magnitude of the breach. We don’t want to see what happened last year happen again.

“We’ll talk to them before the race as well to remind them of their obligations with the whip and about riding safely. We don’t want jockeys flaunting the rules just to win the Melbourne Cup.”

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