First Victorian jockey suspended for breaching whip rules

Four-time premier jockey Craig Williams became the first Victorian rider to be suspended for a breach of the new whip rules.

Williams pleaded guilty to striking his mount Flying Tessie 10 times before the 100 metre pole in Wednesday’s Transpacific Clearway Handicap (1200m) at Moonee Valley and incurred a four-meeting penalty effective from midnight on Saturday.
Earlier in the day champion jockey Damien Oliver was fined $400 for a similar offence when he hit his mount Clearway nine times before the 100 metres and finished eighth in the Direct Alarm Supplies Handicap (1600m).
Williams was disappointed with his penalty when compared to that of Oliver.
Jockeys are limited to hitting a horse with the whip up to five times before the 100 metres.
Williams will miss four country meetings including the Gold Nugget program next Wednesday.
Stewards chairman Bruce McGinley warned that Williams would incur for a more severe penalty should he re-offend.
A four-time Scobie Breasley Medallist, Williams argued that he was not a whip rider and spared Flying Tessie from the whip when he realised she could not do any better. She finished fourth.

By Robert Windmill