PONTEFRACT’S fixture on Monday could be subject to jockey strike action following the shock decision of Richard Hughes to relinquish his licence due to the new whip rules.
Hughes says he will not ride again until the new whip restrictions are changed – the Lambourn-based rider having received first a five-day ban followed by a 10-day ban this week for hitting his mounts six times in the final furlong when the new limit is five.
And now jockeys’ representatives have confirmed that written proposals have been submitted to the British Horseracing Authority as speculation mounts about a potential strike on Monday over the new rules.
Windsor and Plumpton are also set to stage fixtures on Monday but speculation of strike action mounted when no jockeys’ names appeared against the name of any horse at Windsor on the official BHA administration site.
Officials at Pontefract, though, say they have heard nothing about potential strike action.
A spokeswoman for the West Yorkshire course said: “We’ve seen what has been going on regarding the whip, but nobody has contacted us to say there is a strike.”
A statement from the Professional Jockeys Association said its submission to the BHA included revisions to the range of penalties for infringements as well as some further clarifications of the rules themselves.