Zahra appeals lengthy suspension

Jockey Mark Zahra is still a slight chance of riding sprint star Santa Ana Lane in Hong Kong after lodging an appeal against his extensive ban he suffered last Saturday at Randwick.

Zahra was outed from April 23 through to June 2 after stewards blamed him for the two-horse fall of Persan and War Baron near the line in the opening event on day two of The Championships.

The jockey’s manager Reece Murphy confirmed on Monday that Zahra will appeal the severity of the ban after the rider pleaded guilty to the charge last Saturday. He was also fined his winning percentage of $3800.

Zahra would need a decent slab of his penalty reduced on appeal to continue his relationship with Santa Ana Lane in Hong Kong but it is understood the jockey was of the belief the initial penalty was too harsh and deserved to be reviewed.

Santa Ana Lane is set to start the hot favourite in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin on April 28 after his emphatic victory in the T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) – his fifth Group 1 win over the past 18 months.

A decision will be made after the Hong Kong race whether Santa Ana Lane continues on his travels to Royal Ascot in the UK or returns home to be readied for next October’s The Everest.

Glyn Schofield (left) and Andrew Adkins fall to the turf, picture