Dual licence holder Steven Pateman is free to continue racing after the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board reserved its decision on penalty on a cobalt charge.
A leading jumps jockey, Pateman also holds a trainers’ licence and along with partner Jessica Barton was in March found guilty of a race-day administration charge relating to a high cobalt reading from Sir Walter Scott in a pre-race urine sample at Coleraine in September 2017.
In a telephone hook-up on Monday, the RAD Board held a hearing over penalty, reserving its decision.
Pateman has rides in all eight races on the opening day of a condensed Warrnambool carnival on Tuesday and chases consecutive wins in the feature, the Grand Annual Steeplechase aboard Zed Em.
It will be Zed Em’s third shot at the Grand Annual over 5500m having finished a close second to arch rival Gold Medals in 2018.
Without his usual lead-up races at Oakbank this year with the Easter meeting being called off because of the coronavirus pandemic, Zed Em has been forced to take a different route.
Two flat races, including a win at Werribee over 2000m, had Zed Em primed for his jumps return at Pakenham which resulted in a 26 length last in a 3500m steeplechase.
Both Pateman and trainer Patrick Payne described it as disappointing, but Zed Em showed his Grand Annual aspirations were on track with a school at Warrnambool last week.
“He seemed a different horse to the one I rode at Pakenham,” Pateman said.
“He’s used to running on those cross-country tracks, Warrnambool and Oakbank, which seem to keep him interested.”
Since weights went metric in 1973, Zed Em recorded the highest winning weight with 70kg last year.
Zed Em rises 3kg, but the minimum weight has also risen 2kg to 66kg this year.
Last year’s Grand Annual winner is the $4.40 third favourite behind Ablaze ($1.90) and Gold Medals ($4).
Five of Pateman’s other rides are either equal favourite or second favourite with his two others, Crafty Lion and Mr One Eleven, rated as outsiders.