SEPARATE incidents in the past week strongly suggest that the Stipendiary Stewards of the Jockey Club are sadly inconsistent when it comes to displaying leniency in their decision making. The incidents involved former champion jockey Basil Marcus and first season Irish rider Kevin Manning last Wednesday and gutsy local boy Rambo Tse Wai-ho at Sha Tin on Ladies Day. Let us take Tse's case first. He was riding Merry Maple, a re-classified griffin who was having his first start in a race and was clearly expected to run well. The odds tumbled from 60-1 to 16-1. The horse finished fifth and, as a result of an incident in the final 200 metres, Tse was suspended for three days for careless riding. The Stewards noted officially that Merry Maple shifted out sharply away from the whip, causing Segurado, ridden by visitor Lisa Cropp, to be checked and switched out. According to their own report and the sequence in which their actions are recorded, the Stewards deduced - and we assume correctly - that Merry Maple ducked away from the whip. A subsequent inquiry then found Tse guilty of careless riding. Horses do duck sharply away from the whip and, in the case of a horse which has never seen race day action before, self-evidently there is an even greater chance of this happening. It is their first experience of real racing pressure. A horse ducking away from the whip is not an offence under the Rules of Racing. And to what extent can a jockey, be he the world's best or a journeyman rider, prevent this occurring? Unless we ban the use of whips, it has to be seriously suggested that they can do very little indeed. It happens in a fraction of a second and it then comes down to remedial action being taken as quickly as possible. The reactions and reflexes of individual riders will then determine how quickly that action is taken, but in only extreme cases would it be a fair foundation for the bringing of a careless riding charge. In Tse's case, there was the important mitigating factor that the horse was young and inexperienced. Let us look back to Wednesday night when an interesting inquiry into the incident involving Time Fit (Manning) and Drifting Away (Marcus) kept us on our toes and at the racecourse until after midnight. If Tse and Marcus have one thing in common, it is surely that they are both utterly determined riders. Over the years the South African has been, at times, a pursuer of lost causes but his never-say-die attitude has brought him winners when success seemed impossible. Tse's vigour and use of the whip have brought him to the unwelcome attention of the Stewards on a number of occasions. On Wednesday, Marcus forced a passage on the inside of Time Fit and received a warning for his part in the incident which led to Manning getting three days for improper riding. The Irish jockey had elbowed Marcus in the ribs or back and attempted to strike him, unsuccessfully, with the whip. There was no excuse for Manning's actions and he was fortunate to escape with three days. But any leniency shown by the Stewards in Manning's case would appear to have been influenced by their decision to do nothing to Marcus - apart from warning him. We are surely not expected to believe that Manning, a highly regarded rider who has a excellent disciplinary record behind him in Europe, generally lashes out with elbows and whips when things go amiss in a race. Manning gets three days for a breach of a serious Rule of Racing, Marcus gets another warning - he had two last season - and Rambo Tse gets three days for an offence which he may marginally have committed. And certainly an offence where there were very clear mitigating circumstances that called for a lenient view to be taken. Disquieting, to say the least. LADIES' Day is an excellent promotion coming at a time when the season is just cranking up a gear. In reality, however, it centres round filling the stands and that was duly done to everyone's satisfaction on Saturday. It is a fun day out for the ladies and their men, courtesy of the Jockey Club. But if we are to bring in overseas female riders - and it is actually not essential to the success of the day - then look after them when it comes to getting meaningful rides. It was a rather undignified last minute scramble to get them on horses last midweek, despite the fact that the date was in the calendar from late last season. There will always be a reluctance on the part of many owners, and some trainers, to put up largely unknown women riders from foreign parts. But at least they should be given time to get used to the idea. The Jockey Club recently recognised the Trainers' Association so one suggestion for next year is simply this: get that body involved early. It may not be a question of putting the onus on trainers, but it would certainly make life simpler if they were made an integral part of the promotion from the very start. I suggest that given time and the recognition that they are essential to the on-field success of the venture, trainers would respond most positively.