THE fairytale win aboard Ferlax in Saturday's Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington did not have a happy ending for jockey Stephen Baster.
The hoop was stunned when handed a 12-meeting suspension for careless riding, saying he had no option but to appeal the penalty.
Baster was found guilty after stewards said he allowed Ferlax to shift in 150m after the start, causing interference to High Esteem which was taken in onto Albrecht, causing that runner to be checked.
During the hearing, Baster asked chief steward Terry Bailey what else he could have done.
"I think it's ridiculously clear it's not my fault. I couldn't come off (the inside horses) any more," Baster said.
Bailey was adamant Baster had failed to make enough effort to avoid contacting horses to his inside as Ajeeb, ridden by Glen Boss, followed Baster and Ferlix across the face of the field.
"But Boss is half a length in front of me. How is that following me across?" Baster asked, to which Bailey replied "We are here to ask the questions, not answer them."
Baster' licence was suspended for 12 race meetings, starting at midnight last night and expiring at midnight on March 14.
It was a busy day for stewards who also handed out suspensions to Luke Nolen, Brad Rawiller and apprentice Chad Schofield.
Nolen was outed for six meetings after allowing Karuta Queen to shift in at the 100m mark when insufficiently clear of Eight Bills in the Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m), while Rawiller was sidelined for eight meetings for shifting out aboard Ready To Rip in the same incident, causing Canali to be checked.
Schofield pleaded guilty to careless riding aboard winner Auld Burns in the 1700m Saintly Handicap and was outed for 10 meetings.
He had been suspended for seven meetings at Moonee Valley on Friday night, stewards ordering the bans be served concurrently, leaving him cooling his heels until March 18.
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