Melham suspended, misses Group One races

Ben Melham will miss two prized rides on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival after being suspended for breaching the whip rules in the Victoria Derby on runner-up Stars Of Carrum.

Melham was banned for six meetings after using the whip 12 times before the 100m in Saturday’s 2500m Derby, seven times more than allowed.

He also used the whip in four consecutive strides, which is against the rules, and was fined $500.

Melham’s ban starts after Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup meeting and he will miss VRC Oaks day on Thursday and next Saturday’s program which features the $2 million Mackinnon Stakes and $1 million VRC Sprint Classic.

Melham was due to ride Caulfield Cup runner-up Homesman in the Mackinnon and multiple Group One winner Santa Ana Lane in the VRC Sprint Classic.

The jockey considered whether to start his ban immediately by getting off his ride on Who Shot Thebarman in the Melbourne Cup before deciding to honour his commitment to the veteran stayer in Tuesday’s race.

“It’s unfortunate because I’ll miss Homesman and Santa Ana Lane who have been good horses to me and I ride them all the time,” Melham said.

“But the long and the short of it is I was booked for the horse in the Melbourne Cup and the owners would prefer I ride the horse.”

Melham asked stewards to impose a fine rather than a suspension.

Dean Yendall will also miss the final two days of the Melbourne Cup carnival after being banned for 10 meetings for careless riding in the Kennedy Mile while Ben Allen copped an 11-meeting ban for careless riding in the same race.

Their bans also start after the Cup.