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Santa Anita may step back from whip ban, says leading jockey Mike Smith

• ‘I don’t think it [a complete ban] is going to happen’
• US course enforced ban after 22 horses died in nine weeks

Mike Smith, one of America’s leading jockeys, has launched a strong defence of the whip and suggested that Santa Anita may step back from banning its use for all but “corrective safety measures” from Friday.

The California track, one of the racing world’s most cherished courses, has been closed since 5 March following the death of 22 horses when either training or racing in the first nine weeks of the 2019 season.

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