Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners' Association chairman Jonathan Munz has concerns and has suggested a change of approach in relation to Racing Victoria's limited-whip-use race series and the evaluation of whip rules.
"I understand what RVL is trying to achieve, but I don't think it is going about this in the best way," Munz said.
"The universal view among equine welfare experts, agreed by RVL, is that with the padded whip, the impact of use of the whip is a matter of perception rather than a horse welfare issue.
"With that understood, my personal view is that modification of the whip rules is worth debating and exploring and this is the direction the Industry is likely to go.
"This requires a national approach as it is a national sport and industry where the rules need to be uniform."
RV announced on Wednesday that, in the interests of providing more data on whips for Racing Australia to review, a six-race series of races with an imposed limit of just five strikes for the entire race will be conducted over the coming weeks.
Munz doubted the worth of such a venture.
"In terms of data analytics, trialing a modified set of rules in an expensive six-race country 'pop-up' series for restricted horses is not going to give you useful data and is not a good use of $650,000 of industry funds, which should be deployed elsewhere," he said.
"If you are serious about collecting and comparing data and getting it as early as you can, it makes much more sense to experiment with a larger amount of existing races on the racing calendar with 10 or 20 years of existing comparable data, rather than a few pop races with no past data.
"These pop-up and restricted races are distorting the racing calendar and pattern and need to be curtailed.
"I find it wrong that the cream of Victoria's two-year-olds ran around for $160,000 in the recent Blue Diamond Previews, which are important Stakes races, while this new pop-up series for restricted horses has $650,000 in prizemoney with $250,000 for the final."
Source: Andrew Eddy - racing.com.au. Link to original article here