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Mark Zahra handed hefty suspension, fine

Mark Zahra will miss the Hong Kong ride on Santa Ana Lane in the Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize after being given a hefty suspension and fine for his part in a two-horse fall at Randwick.

The jockey was suspended for 25 meetings and fined $3800 – almost his winning percentage – for causing interference aboard winner Power Scheme in the Kings Of Sydney Sport Mile at Randwick on Saturday.

Stewards deemed Zahra allowed his mount to shift near the 100 metre mark, resulting in Glyn Schofield and Andrew Adkins tumbling from their respective mounts, Persan and War Baron.

Schofield was unhurt and continued to ride at the program but Adkins, who was conscious, was taken to hospital for precautionary tests.

Adkins later tweeted from hospital confirming he had suffered fractures to his spine, sternum, cheekbone and nasal passage.

Chief steward Marc Van Gestel said Zahra, who pleaded guilty to careless riding, narrowly avoided the more serious charge of reckless riding.

“It’s one of the highest careless riding incidents we’ve seen in recent times,” van Gestel said.

“Your actions are bordering on reckless.

“The consequences have obviously been significant in that we’ve got horses that fall.”

Zahra will begin the penalty on April 23 and can resume riding on June 2.

Hugh Bowman and Tommy Berry also incurred careless riding suspensions from the program with Bowman outed for four meetings and Berry six.

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