New whip rules are causing all kinds of havoc for the jump jockeys this season and the latest, in a string of high profile names, to fall foul of the of the BHA is Champion jockey Tony McCoy after he received a five-day whip ban at Ffos Las on Sunday.
After striking the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Caddie Master nine times, one over the threshold, in the 3m handicap hurdle, McCoy received his first five-day ban and should McCoy break the whip rules again within 12 months he will receive a ten-day ban and a third offence in that period would result in a 30-day suspension.
“I've been riding a long time and I rode like I've always ridden and gave him a flick early on, after the third last I think,” said McCoy.
“It wasn't so much as I forgot but I flicked him and it was barely a flick, I'd have done more if I'd patted him, whereas before you wouldn't count it as a smack, now you count it as a smack.
“Caddie Master would probably have won six weeks ago but that's the way it is. You're doing your best to get them running, it's all about being competitive.”
McCoy said that he felt owners and racing were suffering under the new rules. “I feel sorry for the owners and a little for the sport, too, because I used to think the racing in this country was the best place to be riding in the world and you worry about what every other county in the world now thinks of you,” he said.
“But we're just going to have to get used to it. The problem with myself, Ruby and lads that have already been done is it's going to be a long winter for us.
Speaking on At The Races, McCoy added: “It's going to be tough on owners who put in a lot of money on horses that should be winning races and they're not winning.
“I broke the rules and I better not break them again. It's going to be a long winter, unfortunately.”