The Jockey Club's Julia Cook told Sporting Life the Coral-Eclipse was the first time the group I whip suspensions had been imposed since the rule went into effect 16 months ago.
The English Jockey Club has levied 10-day suspensions to jockeys George Duffield and Pat Eddery for excessive use of the whip during Saturday's Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) at Sandown. The 1 1/4 mile race was won by Giant's Causeway, with Duffield aboard, after a spirited duel with Kalanisi, who was ridden by Eddery. Giant's Causeway held the lead with a quarter-mile remaining, but was headed by Kalanisi inside the final furlong. Duffield and Giant's Causeway rallied to win by a head.According to Sporting Life, Eddery's 10-day suspension, resulting from a Jockey Club rule pertaining to whip use in group I races, is on top of an additional nine days of suspensions levied against him. As a result, Eddery will be sidelined from July 16-Aug. 3, the newspaper reported. Duffield's suspension will run from July 18-27. Both were scheduled to ride on Thursday's closing day card at Newmarket.The Sporting Life said Duffield would accept the penalty but does not believe there should be separate rules for whip use in group I stakes and other races. "Rules are rules and they have to be obeyed," the rider said. "But we (the jockeys) don't like the separate rule for group I races. We are not happy with it. For two identical crimes in two different races you can end up with different punishments. You can give a bad horse a ride and get suspended for two to three days and for the same ride on a good horse in a group I race you are suspended for 10 days."