Sunday 23 July 2017

Jockeys hopeful after meeting with British Horseracing Authority

Tom Peacock

Representatives of the riding ranks still hope to come up with a revised solution to the new whip guidelines following the conclusion of a meeting with the board of the British Horseracing Authority.

New rules were introduced last Monday and although riders, trainers and officials were positive about the changes before their inception, the guidelines have caused much controversy since.



A number of jockeys have fallen foul of the new rules since they were introduced last Monday, with Richard Hughes pledging to hand in his riding licence after picking up his second suspension of the week at Kempton on Thursday.



The debate was thrust back into the spotlight at Ascot on Saturday after Christophe Soumillon was found to have hit Qipco Champion Stakes winner Cirrus Des Aigles six times in the final furlong - once more than permitted.



The furious Belgian ace was not only handed a five-day suspension but also forced to forfeit his considerable percentage of the prize-money and his riding fee.



Hughes, Tony McCoy, Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori, as well as trainer John Gosden, joined Kevin Darley, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, in a meeting with BHA officials in London today.



After a meeting which lasted roughly 90 minutes, Darley emerged satisfied that the jockeys had a chance to put forward their case.



"It's too early to say very much, but everything was very open," said Darley.



"We put our points across and hopefully we can come up with a resolution as soon as possible.



"It was great to have some jockeys there to put their point across about what happens when you are riding in a race.



"We put our points across and it's up to them to decide.



"If it's not favourable then we'll have to reconsider our position."



Darley added: "We put (our) points across very well, we'll see what come out of the meeting and what they decide.



"The BHA board and jockeys are trying to achieve the same objective in trying to get rules in place everyone is comfortable with.



"It was a good meeting, everyone was very open about what was discussed, hopefully we have done a good job and can resolve this situation as soon as possible.



"I think so (they will take jockey's concerns on board) and hope so."



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