Image: Bruno Cannatelli
Blake Shinn has been fined $2000 and banned for 12 meetings after Racing Victoria’s stewards upheld the protest at Flemington.
Stewards lodged their own protest after Invincible Caviar and My Yankee Girl could not be separated at the end of the 1200m gala sprint on Saturday.
A review of the film prior to correct weighting revealed that Blake Shinn, rider of My Yankee Girl, had used the whip on 12 occasions before the 100m mark, six times in consecutive strides and a total of 27 times in the final. 300 m.
Australian whip rules limit jockeys to using the whip five times before 100m before being free to use it in the run to the line.
“By breaching Rule 132 subsection 7 of the Australian Racing Rules, we believe that Mr Shinn gained an advantage because if he had not done so, Invincible Caviar would have finished ahead of My Yankee Girl. The objection is therefore granted and the result is adjusted,” said RV Chief Steward Robert Cram as he granted the objection.
The only time a whip-cracking protest was supported in Australia was on the Sunshine Coast in 2016.
Cram said there had been no change in policy or direction from Victorian stewards, who deal with each case on its merits.
But he said Saturday’s incident was a gross breach of the whip’s rules.
“We believe he gained an advantage by doing that,” Cram said.
“We had some whip (rules) violations that were close and the stewards discussed that (protest) earlier.
“But this is the first time anyone has been housed.
Shinn said he tried too hard in the heat of battle and acknowledged he had to change his ways after returning from Hong Kong earlier in the year.
There are no restrictions on jockeys using a whip in Hong Kong.
“Come here, you’re still learning to adapt in a different way,” Shinn said.
“I feel for my contacts and the people who supported My Yankee Girl.
“It’s upsetting. I’m disappointed in myself and angry at everyone involved.’
The stewards charged Shinn with using the whip on seven occasions over the threshold before the 100 m finish, fined Shinn $1,000 and suspended him for 12 meetings, while he was fined $1,000 for using the whip on six consecutive occasions before the 100 m finish.
Shinn told stewards it was a simple misjudgment of the distance from the winning spot when he pleaded guilty to the charge.
“My ride was no different to any other race I ride,” Shinn told stewards before being charged with whipping offences.
“I mistook the 150-meter target for the 100-meter target and used the whip seven times.
“I didn’t throw the caution on the whip rule because I thought I was on the 100 meter mark.
*Existing customers only. 2. horse racing bet. Except for SA & WA. T’s and C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.