Jamaica Gleaner / CUP O TEA returns to $450,000 claiming company as a winner on better terms in this afternoon’s 1300-metre James B. Dawes Memorial, following her New Year’s Day disqualification.
The five-year-old mare won powerfully, beating FLYING MACHINE at 1500 metres, carrying 54.0 kilos, yet returns with 52.0, running 11lb lighter than her main rival, ZACKONTHEATTACK.
A winner of three of his last four races, seven-year-old ZACKONTHEATTACK is a game and veteran claimer, who changes hands almost after every race in which he competes but always rewards his connections.
However, in two of his last three wins, he beat the same horse twice, TARANIS, a renowned plodder. His other victory was against ST BERNARD, a $180,000 claimer, who has been campaigning on a $250,000 tag.
Between beating TARANIS, ZACKONTHE-ATTACK’s Achilles heel was exposed at 1200 metres on December 2 when he got into a speed duel with BRAVE PROSPECT and was nailed at the wire by EL CLIENTE closing from off the pace.
Super-fit CUP O TEA beat a genuine field of $450,000 claimers on New Year’s Day, clocking 1:34.1. ZACKONTHEATTACK’s best time at the distance in his last three attempts was 1:35.0, beating far weaker company, MINNIFIA and MEMORY OF TS, on a $350,000 tag last July.
When he faced STIR IT UP on a $450,000 ticket on September 2, ZACKONTHEATTACK finished 11 lengths behind 1:34.1, a race which he was unable to dominate.
With MEET JUSTIN and possibly CRUISING MOTION to keep ZACKONTHEATTACK honest on the lead, the race is set-up nicely for CUP O TEA to mow down rivals inside the last half-furlong.
CUP O TEA’s trainer, Junior Small, took one of the toughest blows in racing with the second starter of his career. Having paid his due early, he should reap dividends and join batchmate Anthony Dixon, who posted MONEYNEVERSLEEP to a romp in the McKay Security Trophy on New Year’s Day.