Jockey Ben Melham will miss the important Spring Carnival meeting at Moonee Valley on Saturday, which features the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m), after being suspended for careless at Caulfield last Saturday.
Stewards ruled for Melham to commence his suspension at midnight on Saturday night, August 29, and is out of the saddle until midnight September 10, 2015.
Melham will miss a total of twelve meetings after pleading guilty to the charge of careless riding at the 1200m in the $80,000 Cape Grim Beef Plate (1400m) where he allowed his mount Kansas Sunflower to shift in causing Redasun to be inconvenienced which also saw her rider Kerrin McEvoy become unbalanced.
Kansas Sunflower was sent out the $4 favourite in the Mares Handicap but could only finish third behind Abidewithme and Set Square.
Former Kiwi trained mare Abidewithme ($4.80) was having her first start for the Peter Moody stable and finished strongly to score a neck win over the Crown Oaks winner Set Square ($11) who was having her run back for the Spring Carnival
Melham was out of luck for the remainder of his rides with the closest he got to the winner’s stall was on Hazard who went down in a tight photo finish to Madam Gangster in the Group 3 $150,000 William Hill Sprint Series Heat 1 Stakes (1200m).
The Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Hazard made up many lengths in the straight but failed by a nose to peg back Madam Gangster who also came from well back in the field to record her fifth win from her last six outings.
Melham’s mount in the Group 1 $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m), Stratum Star, ran a mighty race to be beaten a head and a head in a three way photo when third behind Boban and Entirely Platinum.
The Darren Weir trained Stratum Star was having his second run back as a four year old and ran a great race indicating that he is not far off a Group 1 win over the Spring Carnival.
Melham also filled third place with the Leon and Troy Corstens trained Awesome Rock behind front runner Charmed Harmony in the $90,000 hockingstuart Handicap (1400m) but was out of the prizemoney with his other four mounts.
Overstay finished eighth in the $80,000 Montague Tree Handicap (1400m), Reddamour failed to beat a runner home when sixteenth behind Real Time in the $50,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Handicap (1200m), was seventh on the Peter Moody trained Thermal Current in the Group 3 $150,000 theshark.com.au Stakes (1100m) and was well beaten on Escado who finished ninth in the Listed $120,000 Sheen Group Heatherlie Stakes (1700m).