CP JET made a long-awaited return to the winners’ enclosure in stylish fashion when horse racing continued Saturday at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.
The son of former Gold Cup winner Cactus Amour prevailed at odds of 11/1 in the fourth event of the six-race card – the 1,500-metre turf contest for 45-30 rated horses.
It was CP Jet’s first victory since March 14, 2020, when he turned in arguably the most eye-catching performance of the season to defeat a bunch of his then fellow West Indian-bred three-year-olds by four lengths over 1,750 metres.
The flood gates were expected to open after this triumph, but racing was then shut down because of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and he has been struggling mightily since action resumed at the end of June.
CP Jet not only failed to finish on the board six straight times before Saturday, he was beaten by 13 and more lengths in three of the events and 25 and over in the other three.
To be exact, Carlton Revanales’ horse lost his last six races by a combined 133 lengths before Saturday’s triumph.
CP Jet had been the leading choice in the betting until drifting out to be the 5/2 third choice just before the start of the Guineas on Republic Day (September 24),
Richard Frederick’s charge went on beat just two horses in a seventh-placed effort in the opening leg of the Triple Crown, and performed even worse in the other two legs – finishing last of nine in the Midsummer Classic at the end of October, and tenth of 11 a month later in the Trinidad Derby Stakes.
CP Jet was beaten by a combined 90 lengths in the prestigious series, but hinted that a turnaround was looming when he was only beaten by 13 lengths when again finishing ahead of just one horse in the Trinidad & Tobago Breeders Classic to end the season on Boxing Day (December 26).
Connections were hoping that a switch to turf would begin the turnaround this year and did not give up when he was tenth of 12, beaten another 13 lengths, debuting on the surface a month ago.
CP Jet’s victory last Saturday was even more impressive that it looked as he would have won by probably three times his two-length margin had he not been eased significantly by Dillon Khelawan in the closing stages.
And the final time by the chestnut colt with a #46 rating of 1:33.47 seconds was only a little more than a second slower than the one posted by Jerry Narace’s General JN, the joint highest rated horse in the country (#116), in taking the next race over the same course and distance.
Also racing for the second time on grass, the Sian’s Gold Sprint winner maintained his unbeaten record on the surface with a five-length triumph in the modified benchmark handicap for 80 & over rated horses.
Khelawan also rode – and considerably eased – the Glenn Mendez-trained General JN and the 2012 champion apprentice was the leading rider of the day.
Horse racing continues at Santa Rosa Park next week Saturday with the fifth round of the Arima Race Club’s 2021 Season.