Reports have surfaced that ‘whip free’ racing could be on the cards in Victoria

Reports have surfaced that Racing Victoria’s unwavering determination to push ahead with their position on limiting whip use could result in a series of ‘whip free’ races being trialled during the summer.

Racing Victoria General Manager – Corporate Communications Shaun Kelly refused to give a definitive answer on the possibility of a ‘whip free’ series of races, however he also refused to rule out the possibility.

“We are currently discussing a number of options, and a series of whip free races are just one of them,” Kelly said.

The report first surfaced on the News Corp racing website Racenet on Monday stating: “Racing Victoria’s contentious position on the use of the whip by jockeys will escalate to the next level over summer with a proposal for a series of whip free races culminating in a “final” on All Star Mile day at Moonee Valley.”

Further in the report it was suggested the proposal was to run a series of benchmark races at country and provincial tracks where jockeys would carry, but not be allowed to use the whip.

Kelly confirmed after the report had surfaced that whip free races were indeed on the table, but so too were many other options but he refused to elaborate on what those ‘options’ were.

‘Whip free’ races are on the radar and could be introduced very soon. Picture: GettySource:Getty Images

While he agreed that ‘whip free’ races would be similar to the AFL policy of trialling any possible rule changes away from the main stage before any broader use, he was at pains to stress that no decision had been made on what the next course of action for RV was.

“As we had expressed previously when commenting on whip use, there are a number of options that Victoria could consider to progress the discussion on whip reform. These include things such as conducting customer research and other activity to provide insight and data,” Kelly said.

Should a whip free series go ahead the spotlight would be firmly on what impact the running of such races would have not only on the actual races themselves but also the most important peripheral issues of wagering turnover and punter confidence.

Racing: Luke ‘Stumpy’ Williams was so overwhelmed by his Jericho Cup win on Count Zero in Warrnambool that he dropped the F-bomb post-race….

Racing: Luke ‘Stumpy’ Williams was so overwhelmed by his Jericho Cup win on Count Zero in Warrnambool that he dropped the F-bomb post-race.

Racing Victoria has previously stated it believes the current national whip rules are no longer appropriate, however they have not called for the totally abolishment of the whip.

“Whether people wish to believe it or not, the research identifies that there are a number of current and potential customers who do not support the use of the whip in racing and/or wish to see its usage reduced. It is pertinent to remember that we are talking about the views of customers, not licensed participants,” Kelly said.

Originally published as‘Whip free’ races could soon be a reality

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