Jockey Ben Melham has paid a high price for lodging an unsuccessful protest in the opening race at Moonee Valley.
Melham rode Crafty Cruiser into second place and protested against Verdant, ridden by Dwayne Dunn.
Not only did Melham fail in his protest, he attracted the attention of the stewards who charged him with careless riding, found him guilty and suspended him for 10 meetings.
Melham has the choice of starting the suspension on either Sunday or Monday making his earliest return on Melbourne Cup day.
Either way he will miss Derby Day at Flemington where he has the ride on Escado in the main race.
He is also on Prairie Star who is seeking a Melbourne Cup start in the Mackinnon Stakes on the same program.
Melham will advise the stewards when he intends to begin his suspension on Saturday.