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Big Black Cat
26 Dec 16 23:14
Date Joined: 04 Oct 02
| Topic/replies: 814 | Blogger: Big Black Cat's blog
ELGIN (DUKE OF MARMALADE X CHINA TEA) was a ready winner of a good novice hurdle at the Kempton Christmas Festival on Boxing Day.

Elgin was originally trained for a flat career by James Fanshawe, but was deemed too backward to run-he was sent to Alan King and given time to mature.  He won a bumper, and has now won two novice hurdles well.  His next target may be the Dovecote Hurdle at Kempton, prior to a Cheltenham Festival entry

ELGIN is a half brother to the Nicky Henderson trained CLEMENCY (by HALLING), a fair winning hurdler and bumper winner.  The dam, CHINA TEA, is an unraced full sister to the very useful French middle distance colt MADAGAN (LW, G3W, G1Placed) by HIGH CHAPARRAL.  She is from the family as Champion French mare SHIVA and the Oaks winner LIGHT SHIFT

She has a 2yo filly by HOLY ROMAN EMPEROR to enter training, barren to CAPE CROSS last year, and in foal to ACCLAMATION this year.  She is due to visit SIR PERCY in 2017
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Report Big Black Cat March 9, 2017 11:09 AM GMT
ELGIN has had a pretty good season and is a pretty useful novice.

He is due to run in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham next week.

Has last two runs in graded company were very solid.  He probably caught a couple of very good horses in NEON WOLF and RIVER WYLDE.

Its great to have a runner at the festival who will put up a good showing.
Report Big Black Cat November 19, 2017 4:23 PM GMT
Not a bad start to the new season for ELGIN.

A listed handicap win at Ascot and now a graded win at Cheltenham in the Greatwood.

Although this horse is homebred, he is not from one of our foundation mares families.

Its been a pretty good year all in all!
Report Big Black Cat February 18, 2018 12:51 PM GMT
Another good run from ELGIN in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton.

The trainer is now keen on supplementing him for the Champion Hurdle.

It would be great for the club to have a runner in such a Championship race.

He would need to improve again to be in the race at the second last of course.
Report sageform March 10, 2018 7:37 AM GMT
best of luck with Elgin. Apart from Buveur, the rest all have questions to answer and Elgin at least has recent form. My only likely bet at the moment is MTOY place only but I might add a similar one on Elgin once the final decs. are known.
Report Big Black Cat March 10, 2018 2:12 PM GMT
Thanks sageform.  Although he has won on soft ground, I obviously hoped the rain would stay away.

AK thinks he ideally wants better ground, but we've paid the 20 grand now, and if the race is on he'll be running.

He's in very good nick, and his lead horse won a handicap on the flat off a very lofty racing recently.

Good luck with MTOY.  We could have the first three between us.
Report sageform March 12, 2018 1:49 PM GMT
RPR list now:
Wicklow Brave

You are the only one that should improve a bit from that list.
Report sageform March 13, 2018 10:51 AM GMT
The absence of MTOY confirms why I very rarely bet until the last half hour before a race. I resisted the temptation to back him until this afternoon. Elgin looks a very realistic place bet now. Hope he runs!
Report Big Black Cat March 13, 2018 11:03 AM GMT
All systems go as far as I am aware.  I think he would have to be ill/injured not to run now we've spent 20 grand for the priveledge...

Good luck.

Report sageform March 14, 2018 1:02 PM GMT
Exposed by some very good opposition but you did beat Faugheen.
Report Big Black Cat March 15, 2018 10:56 AM GMT
A very solid run on the ground thanks sageform.  Just after two out I was getting a little excited-they just ran away from him in the ground.  Far from disgraced and beat The Kingwell oppo further this time.

Watch out for him in a 1M 4F maiden on the flat sometime in the not too distant future....
Report sageform March 15, 2018 12:14 PM GMT
Bet you wish he was in the 2.30 at Meydan today.
Report Big Black Cat March 16, 2018 10:39 AM GMT
I'm not sure what Alan is thinking sageform, but I presume he's aiming for the top end of the market, so possibly Cup races?

No point in him running in 0-70's on the flat-I think he can still improve over hurdles and especially on better ground.
Report sageform March 17, 2018 12:28 PM GMT
A 16k maiden against a bunch of moderate horses would have been a nice start thoughHappy
Report Big Black Cat March 18, 2018 6:31 PM GMT
It would have been of course. Something a little more modest probably to start with.
Report Big Black Cat April 19, 2018 8:14 PM BST
ELGIN engaged at Wolverhampton on Saturday at 8.30 in a 1M4F flat maiden.
Report Big Black Cat April 22, 2018 4:44 PM BST
A very promising run from ELGIN last night.  I have to say with a better ride he could have been even closer, and giving 20lbs to two decent three year olds may not be a bad run after all.

This running of the horse on the flat has not been without its critics.  Those of us who have been in the club for a while remember the very useful DANCING BAY (trained by Nicky Henderson)who was rated 145 over hurdles and 116 on the flat.  Indeed he got to within 6L of Westerner in the French Gold Cup.

He was pretty useful.
Report sageform April 27, 2018 12:58 PM BST
I was slightly disappointed but the link between flat and hurdle form has never been strong. As you say, the 3yo's could have been useful and Elgin will be better on a galloping turf track.
Report Big Black Cat April 30, 2018 11:56 AM BST
I think the plan is Chelmsford next week.....TBC of course.

I think Alan fully expects him to wain a maiden at least.
Report sageform May 5, 2018 2:38 PM BST
Great effort by Judicial today. Just got lonely close home.
Report Big Black Cat May 5, 2018 3:31 PM BST
Yes thanks sageform. He was a little unlucky.  That would have been a decent family double!  He'll improve for that a bit as well.  He's in the Kings Stand and the only option before that may be the Temple.
Report Big Black Cat May 9, 2018 3:25 PM BST
Elgin runs again at Chelmsford tomorrow night. He has an obvious chance I would think.
Report sageform May 11, 2018 7:42 PM BST
Not really a test but worth getting experience on the flat. He would be interesting in a 14 furlong handicap now.
Report Big Black Cat May 11, 2018 10:00 PM BST
sageform of course he needs another run to get a mark.  I think that currently he'd be around 85.  The only other alternative is not to go the handicap route of course....

He will be spending a month in a field at some point so we could do that now and potentially go down the Cup route, or find another novice and get him handicapped and put him away for something a bit later on.

If there is a definitive plan, we've not been told. Yet.
Report sageform May 12, 2018 11:35 AM BST
Isn't a win and a place enough for a handicap mark these days? If I may be so bold, his first run didn't scream cup races but I know he has to learn a new job. I think that he will always be best on a long straight and easy bends type of course.
Report Big Black Cat May 12, 2018 1:17 PM BST
Not now sageform.  Three runs to get a handicap mark.  Gives the handicapper a better chance to assess a horse accurately.  You can kind of see the point.  How many Stoute/Gosden/O'Brien maidens end up being handicapped because of who trains them rather than what they've achieved? 

It works both ways of course.
Report sageform May 12, 2018 1:37 PM BST
Yes, I had forgotten that. Hence the need for more novice races.
Report Big Black Cat May 12, 2018 4:48 PM BST
Yep, that's it.  It will be interesting to see how they approach this.  Another novice or conditions race to get a mark, or put him away to go for something better.
Report sageform May 14, 2018 8:11 AM BST
The Ebor has been mentioned! He will have to win a decent novice or at least place in a listed to get enough weight to get in there. The problem is the lack of races above 12 furlongs that would give that sort of rating (last year lowest rating was 101).
Report Big Black Cat May 14, 2018 10:59 AM BST
Hi sageform-yes I saw Alan mentioned it on RUK at the weekend.  I'd be surprised because not only would he need to be rated 100+, but the Ebor is usually run on fast ground. He's not a horse we'd want to run on fast ground.

Top Tug (also with AK) is also going for Royal Ascot with the Ebor as a long term target too, so it doesn't make a lot of sense.
Report sageform June 1, 2018 3:31 PM BST
With the big danger out, Elgin should have another exercise gallop at Catterick so we will be none the wiser about his flat ability.
Report sageform June 1, 2018 3:38 PM BST
The second might be quite useful so not a bad work out.
Report Big Black Cat June 1, 2018 7:14 PM BST
It was another easy win as you say sageform.  So what's his mark going to be?  He beat a 88 rated horse easily giving him 7lb. He'ss going to be rated between 95-100 I think. If not more.
Report Big Black Cat June 2, 2018 4:53 PM BST
Trainer has said his target will be 'one of the big middle distance summer handicaps'.  Ebor was mentioned previously.
Report sageform June 2, 2018 7:24 PM BST
100 would be harsh on the bare form but he did look to have a lot in hand. That would get him into the Ebor if that is the target.
Report Big Black Cat June 2, 2018 7:32 PM BST
I think 100 would be harsh too, but he easily beat a 88 rated horse giving him 7lb.

The Ebor is run on fast ground most years, and I'm not sure that's ideal.

He needs a break too.  The Champion Hurdle in 2019 remains a priority.
Report sageform June 3, 2018 6:52 PM BST
The 12 furlong handicap at Royal Ascot would not seem a bad shout if he is still OK, then a break until the autumn.
Report Big Black Cat June 5, 2018 10:41 PM BST
Top Tug may go for the Ascot Handicap or straight to the Plate.

Ebor for Elgin I think. He should get in of 101.
Report Big Black Cat June 7, 2018 9:20 PM BST
Top Tug is going for the Ascot handicap-he's been left unchanged on 105.

AK expected Elgin to get a mid 90's rating but he got 101 instead.  I think that's workable.
Report sageform June 9, 2018 9:06 AM BST
Good luck today with Judicial. A bit unlucky last time.
Report Big Black Cat June 9, 2018 11:30 AM BST
Thanks sageform-I think everything is in his favour today and he should go very close.
Report sageform June 19, 2018 3:08 PM BST
Judicial again! Surely can't get boxed in this time.
Report Big Black Cat June 19, 2018 9:52 PM BST
Thanks sageform-he won easily in the end.  If you look at his form using a line through Mabs Cross then he's pretty decent I think.

The Nunthorpe is the big target.  He is also entered in a G2 in Ireland next month too.
Report Big Black Cat June 19, 2018 9:56 PM BST
PS Both of our RA runners will run well too.  TRIBUTE ACT is not there for a day out.  Mr F doesn't normally waste 15 grand on supplementing them if they've no chance.

Top Tug will go well on Friday as well.  He was 4th last year and I'd expect another bold bid too.  Loves the fast ground.
Report sageform June 20, 2018 2:51 PM BST
Couldn't bring myself to bet at evens against some good old sprinters but very easy. I am on Tribute Act e/w though.
Report sageform June 20, 2018 3:49 PM BST
Great effort but the winner came past going 2 gears faster. Like the Queen Anne, it paid to wait a long time before challenging.
Report Big Black Cat June 21, 2018 7:24 PM BST
We never get information like 'shes catching pigeons at home and we expect her to go very close' but you get to read between the lines.  There were some very strong vibes coming out of the stable.  She's worked very well with ZEST who although is a nut job and in foal, always works like a group filly.

Its fair to say that yesterday's run wasn't entirely unexpected.  Glad you were on sageform. We are of course very pleased.

She was actually declared for the Hunt Cup as well and was balloted out.  I was slightly gutted as I had backed her at 33/1, and clearly she had a few pounds in hand! :-)
Report sageform June 22, 2018 8:56 AM BST
Hope for a good run from Top Tug but a lot of luck needed in these big fields. At least he has been there before.
Report Big Black Cat June 26, 2018 9:58 PM BST
ELGIN entered at HQ in a 1m 4f listed race on Saturday.
Report sageform July 7, 2018 11:53 AM BST
Good luck with Judicial-again.
Report sageform July 7, 2018 12:24 PM BST
Great result and sensible ride by Paul M. Knowing Muthmir had to come late he was prominent all the way and just held on.
Report Big Black Cat July 7, 2018 1:10 PM BST
Yes sageform-the jock kept it simple.  I think he idled in front to be honest, he'd have preferred a bit of cover but he got too much cover at Haydock of course....
Report sageform July 8, 2018 11:35 AM BST
The key was to prevent Mushmir getting close enough to challenge until it was too late. Mirza might have been 50/1 but he was high class in his day and like Judicial is out of a very good sprinting mare. Were you the owner interviewed by the way?
Report Big Black Cat July 8, 2018 11:41 AM BST
I think we got the luck we didn't get at Haydock sageform.  No it wasn't me, I wasn't there.  The chance of getting a paddock place on a Saturday is pretty remote to be honest!

Next target is the Sapphire in a fortnight the The Nunthorpe.
Report sageform July 13, 2018 3:10 PM BST
Acid test for Elgin today. Is he really a 98 handicapper with so little flat experience?
Report August 27, 2018 12:42 PM BST
Report Big Black Cat October 7, 2018 5:35 PM BST
ELGIN has unfortunately suffered a tendon injury in a field and will miss the whole of the jumps season (for those of you interested).
Report sageform October 10, 2018 5:10 PM BST
That is a real shame as he could have done well back over hurdles.
Report Big Black Cat October 13, 2018 1:44 PM BST
Yes indeed sageform. bad news indeed.
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