Mertens has careless riding ban reduced

Melbourne premiership contender Beau Mertens has had one meeting shaved off a careless riding ban on appeal, meaning he will not miss a metropolitan meeting.

The apprentice has been in a rich vein of form and sits on 48 metropolitan wins in Victoria for the season and is second on the jockeys' premiership, six wins behind defending champion Craig Williams.

Mertens was banned for seven meetings after pleading guilty to a careless riding charge at Sandown last Wednesday but appealed against the severity of the stewards' penalty.

The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on Monday reduced the ban by one meeting and Mertens will be free to take rides at Caulfield on Saturday.

Mertens is six wins ahead of third-placed Dwayne Dunn in the premiership while he leads Ben Allen by 10 wins in the race for the junior title.

Mark Zahra has withdrawn his appeal against the severity of an eight meeting careless riding ban from Sandown last Wednesday.

Zahra copped another suspension at Randwick on Saturday withthe NSW ban to begin on April 17 after he serves his Melbourne penalty.

He can return on April 27.

MELBOURNE, April 10 AAP