AN appeal to the Australian Jockey Club committee has had potentially disastrous consequences for Greg Hall, who won last weekend's Golden Slipper Stakes on Merlene, writes Graeme Kelly. Instead of hearing Hall's appeal against the severity of a two-month suspension and a A$50,000 fine for careless riding in the Golden Slipper the committee decided to charge him with improper riding. The hearing is scheduled to be continued next Friday. The AJC's chief executive Tony King said that his committee had been, 'acting on the facts presented' by chairman of stewards Ray Murrihy. 'It is the opinion of the committee that Hall deliberately rode-out wide in the Golden Slipper Stakes. That constitutes improper riding and led to the charge being laid. I cannot comment beyond that.' The unprecedented move followed suggestions earlier in the week that Merlene's owners - Crown Casino boss Lloyd Williams and media magnate Kerry Packer - would come to Hall's aid. It was inferred that Mr Williams and Mr Packer, who are two of Australia richest and most powerful men, would pay the fine. There have also been allegations that, in addition, they would pay Hall a further A$300,000 for winning the Golden Slipper. Williams has since written to the AJC committee refuting this. 'It is categorically denied that we will be picking up the tab for Hall,' the letter said. 'Any suggestion that we would pay Hall's A$50,000 fine and would be paying him a further A$300,000 is completely scurrilous and quite untrue.' Hall also denied the implication. 'The whole impression which is sought to be created is that I rode as I did because I knew that two rich and powerful men would stand behind me,' Hall said. 'Such an implication can be rejected out-of-hand. It is ridiculous to think that this would happen and, particularly now, I doubt whether I will be receiving any more than my winning percentage of A$61,000. As far as I was concerned I was riding to win for the owners and for the punters whether they be big or small.' The 35-year-old Hall is one of Australia's most successful jockeys with his victories including the W. S. Cox Plate on Super Impose and the Melbourne Cup on Subzero for Merlene's trainer Lee Freedman. However, his career has been marked by frequent clashes with stipendiary stewards.