The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Daniel catching up on lost time

After a drug-related suspension forced trainer Daniel David to sit out for a month, he is back and seems to be resolved to make up for the lost time.

His tally of 14 winners, including two monsoon classics, in about three week of racing during August is ample indication of his intentions for the coming race meets.

Yes, competition will be slightly tough as fellow-trainer Vijay Singh too will be hungry for business, having spent two months on the sidelines for a similar offence. To add to the challenge, the Alford cousins – Cristopher and Rutherford – are going to be back in business by early September.

Cristopher is recovering from a toe injury suffered on August 21, while Rutherford has already served his three race-meet suspension for careless riding. He is raring to return to the track.

Coming back to Daniel. The champion trainer, with the help of the stable-retained jockey Amyn Merchant, made his biggest haul last Wednesday – four winners, including the prized event, the Colts Trial Stakes. However, Daniel’s victory in the ‘colts’ was a foregone conclusion as all the three runners hailed from his yard.

It was the Independence Cup fluent winner Smart Ruler who went to the start as a piping hot favourite at 2-10 despite his heavy impost of 61 kg. However, the Razeen-Regal Star son made light of the big burden as he handed weight and beat to ridicule Royal City who, until last season, was rated to be a good horse. Castration seems to have done wonders to the M.A.M Ramaswamy property.

Immaculate’s victory in the Wise Guy Cup was equally impressive. The six-year-old was ridden in copybook style for his four-length victory and he looked good for another win.

Midas Touch, the third winner of the Daniel-Merchant combo may not have registered a long verdict and a facile victory in a Class V race, still the Be Fresh-Assisi four-year-old needs to be kept on a watch list. His first season in Chennai, was as brilliant as Pearl Dragon, presently in Class III.

Luck favoured Daniel’s fourth winner, Lively Project in the Tangaroa Handicap. Apprentice Surjeet Singh virtually rode the odds-on favourite, Sagittarian, into the ground, thus making it easy for the topweight filly.

Rheinheart’s victory in the Stirabout Cup over 1,800 metres did not come as a surprise but what confounded most as to how the H. S. Bath-trainee won by a distance.

However, Lucifer’s victory in the Noble Fairy Handicap, was well on the cards as the Farley Rodrigues-ward had placed a good third to Smart Ruler in the Independence Cup. The Green Forest-Miss Camp son is in good form and may strike again.

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