Atomica sharpens in Gold Cup

October 20, 2022
ATOMICA with jockey Dane Dawkins.
ATOMICA with jockey Dane Dawkins.

ATOMICA's ease of victory in the I'msatisfied Trophy, carrying 112lb, a stakes record 1:10.4, suggests she should have no problems logging a second straight win against older horses in Saturday's Gold Cup at seven furlongs.

An armchair ride for Dane Dawkins in her last seven races, bar a St Leger loss to BLUE VINYL, ATOMICA's gait and pace make her difficult to beat at almost any distance, more so at featherweight 110lb. Albeit on a fast track, splits of 22.2, 33.4 and 45.3, quickening into 57.1, would have put away I AM FRED and MAHOGANY, who went down to the wire in 1:11.3 three weeks earlier.

MAHOGANY reporting for the Gold Cup at 126lb after his sub-par run against I AM FRED, giving ATOMICA 16lb, hands the race to the filly on a platter. MAHOGANY was listed as lame on the vet list after losing to I AM FRED and hasn't done much at exercise since, a half-mile in 48.0, suggesting he's not at his best.

Peeved at the handicaps, MAHOGANY's connections appealed with the Jamaica Racing Commission, which said it found merit in the arguments and referred the issue back to the racing office for "a review", which apparently failed to budge the handicappers.

Hence, RUNAWAY ALGO, who used 117lb to beat MAHOGANY at five and a half furlongs in April, receiving nine pounds, though carrying 111lb, was officially handicapped with 101lb, all of 25lb lighter than their first meeting, an amazing rating, considering RUNAWAY ALGO's subsequent performances.

MAHOGANY might have won three consecutive races after losing to RUNAWAY ALGO but none were in grade one. Beating CALCULUS at seven and a half furlongs, with no matching speed, was a given for MAHOGANY, not to mention putting away RAS EMANUEL and GOD OF LOVE, the other two events he won to complete a hat-trick before falling to I AM FRED.

However, in the absence of a consistent and published rating system, in which horses' figures are adjusted (or not) after each race, handicapping by distance and who is nominated in events will always throw up inequitable weights.

ATOMICA should have some fun, sharpening her talons for the December 3 US$125,000 Mouttet Mile, which, if the older horses continue to lag, will certainly be hers for the taking as well.

JORDON REIGN's, unbeaten in his last four starts, should complete the Gold Cup exacta.

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