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By Graham Potter | Monday, April 10, 2017

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

It doesn’t happen often so when it does it is refreshing.

Too often these days jockeys fire in an appeal as a knee jerk reaction to any suspension or fine they receive however weak their case might be. Few have the fortitude to take responsibility for their actions.

It’s become a default action whereby many play the system and thus, win or lose, seemingly thumb their nose at authority.

Not Regan Bayliss.

He not only copped the one month suspension he received for a careless riding charge in the Vinery Stakes in Sydney but he also publicly apologised to the connections of the horse he nearly flattened.

The first action is rare. The second is almost unheard of.

The sceptics will say Bayliss, who was coming off a high after landing his first Group 1 winner a week earlier, is young and naïve ... and, yes I know, he will use his time out as an opportunity to take a holiday, which is not a hardship.

But maybe, just maybe he is mature beyond his years and has a level of respect for the game and its rules which allows him to acknowledge his wrongdoing and accept the consequences.

Two more senior jockeys who were penalised on the same day ... one who some might say was lucky to keep his winning percentage and another who continues to fall foul of the whip rule ... of course appealed their penalties.

No surprise there!

The bottom line though is that until racing authorities figure out a better way to proceed with these appeals than is currently the case, you will always have those chancing their arm lining up with genuine candidates.

If the authorities can’t speed up the process, which would be a much needed improvement, perhaps those who have their appeals thrown out in decisive fashion should have their penalty increased.

That might take the edge off their combative enthusiasm.

For now though, good on Regan Bayliss for not joining the ‘knee jerk’ brigade, at least this time around.

With his career having built considerable momentum in recent times he could so easily have been tempted to follow the popular trend.

He didn’t and, whether he follows a similar route in future or not, today that decision stands to his credit.

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