DAQMAN’S 18-WORD WHIPS RULE: What’s all the fuss about, as the new whips rule comes into force at three meetings today? Daqman finds the answer. What’s the nap of the day? Daqman has one at a good price at Windsor.

‘Rules is rules’. A friend of mine who is a nurse was allowed by a doctor in the hospital to use his phone to book a dental appointment, when he thought her work might be impaired because of the pain.

A hospital administrator found out and sent her a bill for 20p (there was a call box in the entrance hall, he said); never mind that his action in preparing and posting the bill cost more than 20p; never mind that she had no ‘previous’ and was a much-admired, and much-needed, member of staff.

The doctor owned up to his part in the ‘crime,’ and the nurse offered the 20p, but the administrator said he couldn’t accept cash. Rules is rules and she’d have to send a cheque.

Then he’d have to send her a receipt. Then he’d have to log it on her record. When she refused on the grounds of common sense, she was sacked.

Don’t ever ask me why nurses sometimes take their eye off the ball. Don’t ever ask me what’s wrong with the NHS.

When Government is so badly needed right now, we have the case of the immigrant’s cat, and the Minister who’s mad enough to take his mate along with him to meetings.

Is there anybody left in the real world? Maybe it’s something they put in the water. As senior Irish racing steward, Peter Matthews, said about whip rules in the Racing Post this morning: ‘We have more of a common sense approach.’

Yes, I said he was an ‘Irish’ steward. The Irish are so often the butt of English jokes. Like the Spanish, the French, and every other nation you can think of. Except that the bureaucratic madness is happening in England. We are more ‘Irish’ than the ‘Irish’, more ‘frog’ than the French.

Today every punter in the land is at a disadvantage when he bets. Instead of watching the horses, he’ll be watching the whips. He may or may not get a fully effective ride; he may or may not get full value for his betting money.

Every jockey at all three meetings will be watching his whip. And counting. ‘He’s come off a line; should I give him one? How many will I have left?’

‘He’s hanging bad. If I wave the whip in front of his eye, will that work? No, he’s inexperienced; he doesn’t know what I mean; it’s made it worse; he’s throwing his head about. I’ll have to give him a wake-up call as to who is master here. Now let’s see, that leaves me three left for the finish.’

‘Here we go then, into the final furlong: oh my God, he doesn’t want to go past. One crack; two. Ok, he’s beginning to respond but he needs at least another two or three. How many is that? I’m not sure. Is it worth it? I might lose my big-race mounts next week.’

Sorry, jock, you got it wrong. It’s not ‘I might lose my big-race mounts next week.’ It’s ‘my owner might lose his prizemoney’. It’s ‘thousands of punters might lose their winnings.’ Jock, the jockey, is now a non-trier.

Dear Stewards, what happened to the rules about non-triers? Oh, I see: the whips rule is more important.

Here’s another scenario: It’s a neck-and-neck tussle. Horse A is barging Horse B. Horse A’s jockey switches his whip to correct him. The horse sees the whip and begins to straighten up.

The jockey’s got hold of his head again. All the horse needs now is urging forward past Horse B. It has to be done in a split-second. But has the jockey used up the whip quota? Is it worth it, in case he gets stood down?

As Peter Matthews reportedly says: ‘It doesn’t come just down to numbers. Suspensions (should) fit the crime.. if it offends the eye, then we act.’

Here’s something that will offend my eye – and my ear – from today in English racing. The accidental offence could be punished severely.

The one-over-the-eight to get the winner over the final fence.. the rhythmical tap of the whip that’s needed in the final strides. Their absence will turn winners into losers.

Worse. What about the bad boy in the saddle that the very same Stewards are so diligently weeding out?

When he blatantly ‘non-tries’, but pleads: ‘I could have given him a few strokes of the whip but I’d lost count. I thought I might be banned.’ What will the Stewards do then?

Don’t be silly, Daqman, I hear them say; we’re too clever for that; we’d soon spot what he was up to.

Oh, I see, says I. You mean you’ll have to use your common sense and ‘make a decision about all aspects of the case, what is really occurring and what offends the eye.’ Isn’t that what you should be doing in the first place?

My ‘common sense rule’ adds up to around 18 words (unless, of course, I’ve miscounted!)

How on earth did the BHA document on the subject run to 78 pages? I didn’t find any difficulty condensing the whole sorry subject into those few words.

If the BHA want to know how I managed it, they could give me a ring. It will cost them about 20p.

BET 0.8pts win and place INTENSE PINK (1.40 Yarmouth)
BET 2.7pts win SALFORD PRINCE (4.10 Windsor)
BET 2.9pts win XPRES MAITE and 2.3pts win DESERT CHIEFTAIN (4.50 Yarmouth)
BET 4pts win THE STRIG (5.20 Yarmouth)
BET 2.9pts win (nap) LOXTON LAD (5.40 Windsor)

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