Zahra, Mertens, Nolen all suspended

Beau Mertens
Beau Mertens is among three jockeys who copped suspensions over the weekend. Photo: Racing.com

The new nine-day deferment rule recently brought into Victoria will allow jockey Mark Zahra to ride at upcoming feature meetings.

Zahra was suspended for eight meetings at Moonee Valley on Friday night for careless riding aboard Chess Star in the opening race.

The deferment allows Zahra to ride next Saturday before starting the eight-meeting ban which brings him back in time for the opening day of The Championships in Sydney on April 7.

Zahra rode Gailo Chop to win Saturday’s Group One Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill and the Darren Weir-trained horse may well back up in the Tancred Stakes a week later.

William Hill

Beau Mertens can ride over the Easter long weekend before starting a 14-meeting suspension from Mornington on Saturday.

Mertens was found guilty of allowing Miss Clooney to shift in near the 100m mark of Saturday’s final race which resulted in Luke Nolen’s mount Kazio clip heels and stumble nearing the winning post.

He will begin his suspension after the Sandown meeting on April 2 and can return for the Cranbourne night meeting on April 13.

Nolen will be out until April 2 after deciding to start a seven meeting ban immediately after being found guilty of careless riding on Gheedaa in the Mornington Sires’ on Saturday.