Calcutta: Jockey Amyn Merchant knew it was coming. On Wednesday, the stewards Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) handed the champion rider an eight race-meet suspension that begins from December 14 and ends on 23 January 2003. Amyn, it may be recalled, had gone easy on the second favourite Moon Mission, last Wednesday in the Manasseh Memorial Cup, that was bagged by the stable-mate River Melody who was heavily backed in the betting ‘ring.’
Souces close to Merchant are, however, confident that the suspension will be cut down to half when the matter is placed before the appelate board known to be sympathetic towards the visiting professionals. Merchant was not available for his comment but sources said the jockey plans to appeal for concession.