JIMMY SULLIVAN is the latest rider to blast the new whip rules after a winning ride at Musselburgh resulted in a 14-day ban.
The Group-race-winning jockey was riding Gray’s Inn at Musselburgh last Saturday in a selling race.
Jimmy Sullivan and Gray’s Inn (red cap) fight out the finish
He got up by a head to win and would have ordinarily been given a 7-day ban for going two over the the six-strike maximum.
The race was a Class 2 event and because of that, the ban was doubled, meaning Sullivan is out of action from June 20 to July 3.
Sullivan has taken responsibility for his mistake, but has been left cursing both his luck and the new whip rules too.
Speaking to Racing Post, he said: “You can make one mistake and it costs you 14 days. That’s a big punishment for a little mistake.
“At the time I didn’t realise it was going to be doubled, it was only a seller and I never looked at the class of the race.
“You’re trying not to do it but at the same time you’re trying to win a race. I switched my mind off the stick trying to win and that’s what caused it.”
Sullivan’s comments come after former Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) chief executive Paul Struthers warned of growing frustration related to the new rules.
Struthers calculated that in the nine weeks the rules had been in force under both codes, there have been 202 separate suspensions amounting to 1,169 days.
Although some trainers, such as Henry Daly, have backed the new rules, the general weighing room consensus has been negative.
Richard Patrick said jockeys were “petrified” to use the whip after he fell victim to the rules just before the Cheltenham Festival.
Last month, Neil Callan appealed against an eight-day ban on safety grounds.
The basis of the appeal, which was rejected, was that Callan used the stick to avoid interference and that its use should’ve been discounted.
Matt Chapman has also been very vocal in his disgust of the new rules.
He said: “No one would begrudge riders if they took strike action.
“Some of the world’s most skilled sportsmen and women are being penalised for simply riding as anyone who takes part in their profession should do so.”
Did you miss our previous article…