CAN OF WORMS: One day after stewards at the Sunshine Coast caused a national uproar when they upheld a protest for a whip breach, an almost identical scenario played out at the Victorian provincial meeting at Stony Creek. And to the bemusement of punters, nothing happened. Florence, ridden by Brian Higgins, won the Benchmark 64 by a nose from Mi Lads Princess, ridden by Michael Carson. Stewards subsequently fined Higgins for using the whip three more times than allowed before the 100 metres.
But there was no tap on the shoulder from Racing Victoria stewards as there was at the Sunshine Coast to apprentice Sarah Eilbeck, who rode Stonecast, one of the dead-heaters, alerting her to a whip breach. Sunshine Coast stewards ruled that apprentice Taylor Williams, riding Rosella, the other dead-heater, had breached the whip rules - she used it three more times than allowed before the 100m mark. Stewards ruled it had a “material effect” on the result of the race and upheld the protest.
RV stewards did not enter their own protest at Stony Creek and the Higgins infringement was consigned to a line in the stewards’ report.
RV deputy chairman of stewards Rob Montgomery said in view of what happened on the Sunshine Coast, the stewards’ panel, along with Dayle Brown, who heads up the Integrity Department, would discuss how to deal with a Sunshine Coast situation. Montgomery said the “real difficulty” he and many of...