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Melham loses whip suspension appeal

Golden Slipper winning jockey Ben Melham will be out to add to his Sydney feature race success on the opening day of The Championships at Randwick but has been ruled out of other major autumn meetings after failing in an appeal against a ban.

Melham was suspended for two weeks and fined $2000 for excessive use of the whip aboard Assign when he won last Saturday’s Group Three Neville Sellwood Stakes.

The incident came only minutes after stewards had warned the jockey about previous infringements, including in the Golden Slipper a week earlier on She Will Reign.

The Racing NSW Appeal Panel on Friday dismissed Melham’s appeal against the penalty meaning he will miss the second day of The Championships, featuring the Sydney Cup and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, on April 8 and the All Aged Stakes meeting a week later.

Melham’s suspension begins after Saturday when he rides Malaguerra in the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) and Single Bullet in the Group One Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

Melham has already won a weight-for-age Group One race on Malaguerra this season in the Darley Classic at Flemington and the Peter Gelagotis-trained gelding is at $9.50 for the TJ Smith coming in off a freshen-up.

Glyn Schofield, meanwhile, has had a careless riding suspension varied on appeal from five city and provincial meetings to four but that still rules him out of the second day of The Championships.

Schofield’s suspension, incurred in the Provincial Championship Qualifier at Goulburn on March 23, starts after Saturday and he can return on April 12.

He has rides in all four Group One races on Saturday including Prized Icon who is aiming to add the Australian Derby to his Victoria Derby from the spring.

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