HARRY COBDEN warned his rivals ‘one of you will get disqualified but not me’ – as new whip rules threaten to cause chaos at Cheltenham Festival.
Jockeys have been banned in their droves since the BHA introduced new measures on the whip.
Punishments have been made much more severe – with disqualification the ultimate deterrent.
Now, if jockeys go four strikes or more over the new limit of seven they and their horse will automatically be kicked out.
Some 19 jockeys were banned for a total of 134 days after the first week under the new guidelines.
Speaking at Sun Racing’s Cheltenham Festival preview night, Cobden said he knows he is safe because he has had enough time to think about his action.
But he warned a more inexperienced jockey could have a career-defining win ripped away from them if getting caught up in the moment.
Cobde, Paul Nicholls’ No1 jockey who will ride Bravemansgame in the Gold Cup, said: “100 per cent someone will get disqualified.
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“If you have 70,000 people in the stands screaming you and your horse home, you will get carried away.
“I definitely won’t because I have been thinking about it the past three months.
“We have had stewards on top of us, the bedding-in period, all this practice. British jockeys should be ready for it.
“Those in Ireland have had no bedding-in period.
“Stewards have gone over and talked to them but I promise you now there will be… I’m not saying a silly person, but possibly a young person where the situation could just overwhelm them and they get carried away up the run-in.
“Someone like Davy Russell, Paul Townend or Rachael Blackmore, I can’t see it happening.
“But I could see a young claimer potentially getting carried away.
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“You’ll have 70,000 people screaming at you and all you can think of is glory.
“Before you know it, you’ve hit the horse nine times and got a 14-day ban and you miss a ride in the Grand National.”
Cheltenham’s greatest ever jockey Ruby Walsh wasn’t so convinced a horse and jockey will get disqualified.
But he told a Racing TV media call: “I do see a number of bans coming in for technical issues, like not giving the horse enough time to respond, using the whip at the correct height and the correct placing.
“I think some riders will fall foul of those.
“But technical breaches won’t lose you a race.
“I think it will take some people a considerable amount of time to perfect the technique.
“The week after Cheltenham (when the Whip Review Committee meet) people will probably be getting bans which will be hard to avoid.”
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