MERLENE yesterday gave 38-year-old Flemington trainer Lee Freedman a brilliant fourth consecutive win in the A$2 million Golden Slipper Stakes over 1,200 metres at Rosehill Gardens. Carrying the colours of Australia's richest man Kerry Packer - he races her in partnership with Crown Casino's Lloyd Williams - Merlene (15-4) cruised home one-and-a-half lengths ahead of Blue Diamond Stakes winner Paint (13-4 favourite). The gallant Flavour (7-1) was a length away third. The joy of victory later turned sour for Melbourne jockey Greg Hall in the stewards' room. Hall was found to be the culprit at an inquiry into severe interference about 300 metres from the winning post in the Slipper. At the time Hall pulled Merlene out from the inside rail to about six horses wide. The stewards - headed by 'The Enforcer' Ray Murrihy - found Hall guilty of careless riding and then showed no mercy. After completing their investigation they suspended Hall for two months and fined him A$50,000.