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Mark Zahra will appeal a 27-meeting suspension for failing to ride out a horse at Ballarat.

Zahra rode the Robert Smerdon-trained Cue Sea in Thursday’s ACE Insurance 3YO Maiden Plate (1600m) and, after setting up a commanding lead in the home straight, was beaten in a photo finish.

The Mick Kent-trained Fire Truck, who was at least 12 lengths off the lead on the home turn, was ridden to the grandstand rail by Brad Rawiller and on firmer going snatched victory in the last stride by a short head.

Racing Victoria stewards found Zahra guilty of failing to ride Cue Sea out to the end of the race which they believed affected the result.

Zahra’s was suspended for 24 days from midnight on Sunday until midnight on March 28 which covers a total of 27 race meetings (9 metro, 18 country).

The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board will hear Zahra’s appeal against the severity of the penalty on Monday.

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