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By Graham Potter | Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The second heat of Racing Victoria’s Country Mile Series, in which whip use is restricted to five strikes for the entire duration of the race, was contested at Swan River today.

The result … a narrow win by the $11 chance The Moors over the $20 outsider Spanish Snitzel with the $2.60 favourite Glassey Miss finishing third, was somewhat overshadowed by events in the steward’s room following the race.

When the amended whip rules for the series were announced, a raft of significant penalties for any breaches of the rule were also brought into play and that had a sequel today as revealed in this extract from the official steward’s report for the day for Swan Hill’s heat of the Country Mile Series

It reads: ‘Neil Farley (Spanish Snitzel) (2nd Placegetter) pleaded guilty to a charge under the provisions of AR232(b) of having failed to comply with an order, direction or requirement of the Stewards that he failed to use his whip in accordance with conditions of Race Seven today, those conditions being imposed by the Racing Victoria Board pursuant to AR151(2)[c].

‘In the race he rode Spanish Snitzel and used his whip on nine occasions, being four times over the permitted limit allowable under the relevant conditions of the race. Neil Farley’s licence to ride in races was suspended for a period to commence at midnight Monday 22nd February 2021 and to expire at midnight Tuesday 2nd March 2021. (9 meetings, 3 metropolitan, 6 provincial). Neil Farley was also fined $500. In assessing penalty Stewards took into account his guilty plea and the published penalty guidelines surrounding the 2021 Country Mile Race Series.

Trainer Con Kelly was notified that in accordance with conditions of the race, due to the breach of the whip rule by rider Neil Farley, Spanish Snitzel is ineligible to compete in any further heats or the final of the 2021 Country Mile race Series.’

Interesting times!

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