Melham outed at Sandown

Jockey Ben Melham’s year has got off to a rocky start with a nine-meeting suspension and another inquiry pending.

Melham was suspended for careless rising on Harkaway winner of Monday’s Le Pine Funerals Handicap (1200m) at Sandown.

Stewards ruled the interference was in the low range but his shift near the 200 metres caused Wealthy Lad to be steadied.

Melham’s suspension starts at midnight on Wednesday but he hasn’t ruled out an appeal.

He is able to return to race riding at Moonee Valley on January 14.

Meanwhile the in-form rider, whose last suspension was in October, faces an inquiry into his riding tactics on Cross Street in Saturday’s Williamstown Handicap at Flemington.

The David Hayes stable was “disappointed” with his decision to ride the horse back after he began so well in the race.

The inquiry has been adjourned to a date to be fixed to enable stewards to study betting information on the race.

Cross Street, who finished sixth, had an official fluctuation of $8 to $9.50.