He used the riding crop on Prince Of Arran 12 times before the 100-metre mark of the race, seven more than allowed. Walker was also fined $400 for excessive whip use on Prince Of Arran when the horse ran third in last year’s race.
Despite the fact Prince Of Arran’s connections would have lost a huge amount of money if Fellowes’ plan was in place, the trainer conceded Walker’s actions were spurred by a desire to win the Melbourne Cup and knowing he was in no danger of being disqualified.
“My views have never changed despite the result,” Fellowes said. “Michael knew no matter what he did he wouldn’t get chucked out, so why would he stop when there is so much at stake?
“I’ve thought long and hard about how we can stop it and I think the only way we can stop it is by just saying, ‘right, if you don’t stay within the rules not only the jockey gets punished but the horse gets chucked out and the trainer gets punished, the owners get punished’.
“My belief is if that happens then no one would break the rules. The stakes are too high. Why would you even go near the number? You would never have to worry about negative headlines. You would never have to worry about antis [animal activists] saying the stick is cruel. It would disappear from public attention because you would never have to ban anyone. The sport would be better for it.
“I don’t think any sum of money or ban is going to stop someone wanting to win a Melbourne Cup. The prestige and honour that comes with it is so valuable that unless you actually take it away from them for breaking the rules, as far as I can see they will carry on doing it.”
Bizarrely, Walker’s horse Prince Of Arran was promoted to second in the Melbourne Cup despite being third across the line behind Vow And Declare.
Stewards relegated Frankie Dettori’s mount Master Of Reality to fourth for causing interference to Il Paradiso in the final stages of the race.
But stipes across the country have shown no inclination to alter results despite jockeys flouting the whip rule, bar a Sunshine Coast race in early 2016 when they split two horses which dead heated at the post.
Asked about his actions on Radio Sport National on Wednesday, Walker said he has shut down some of his social media accounts.
“The abuse I’ve copped from people that don’t even know me … it took its toll on me a little bit overnight,” he said.
“I can only apologise … and I will do my best to not let it happen [again]. I can only apologise for bringing racing into the spotlight when she would really focus on the tremendous training performance by Danny O’Brien and wonderful ride by Craig Williams.”
Brett Prebble was also suspended for six meeting from the Melbourne Cup for overuse of the whip on Steel Prince, but stewards said general compliance with the rule was better during the spring carnival.
Fellowes said he had no issue with the whip being used in racing, urging racing authorities to better educate the general public about the padded riding crops which he says cause no harm to the horse.
He said a jockey raising their arm induced a flight response in the horse while the noise of the whip was also an encouragement tool.
“I don’t have a problem with the stick and I think racing without the stick would be a loss to the game,” Fellowes said. “The problem I have is the headlines that keep on being created when jockeys break the whip rules.”
Six-time Melbourne Cup-winning owner Lloyd Williams wants Australian racing administrators to ban the whip altogether bar jockeys carrying it as a safety tool.
Prince Of Arran will be aimed at a third tilt at the Melbourne Cup next year having finished in the placings in both 2018 and 2019.
Adam Pengilly is a Sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.