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Tigertiger eyeing upset Bagot triumph



Tigertiger is a son of Zed, the sire of Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant. His mother was a New Zealand Cup winner over 3200m while his grandsire Zerpour ran fourth in a Melbourne Cup.Tigertiger’s pedigree stretches back to include the 1957 Melbourne Cup winner Straight Draw, the 1960 Caulfield Cup winner Ilumquh and the former staying star General Command.“He has proper two-mile blood,” Tigertiger’s trainer Rob Blacker said.“He has old-school Kiwi two-mile blood. It’s a tremendous old family.“He’ll finally get up to the trip he was bred for on Saturday.”But Tigertiger hasn’t raced beyond Benchmark 64 grade.The Bagot Handicap will easily be the toughest test of the six-year-old’s career when he takes on proven stakes performers Good Idea and Smokin’ Romans on New Year’s Day.Some punters think Tigertiger will measure up, backing him from $31 to $18. But Blacker said he has a few questions about his charge despite the promising stayer winning four of his last six starts over shorter trips.“They win and lose staying races between the 1000m and the 600m at Flemington,” Blacker said.“At Flemington, the good horses just build and build.“My horse is a sit-and-dash type. The question for him is, can he be close enough on the home turn to strike without tapping into his big finish.“When the top-weighted horses pick up between the 1000m and the turn, will my horse be able to go with them?”Blacker said the 2800m of the Bagot Handicap could produce a few lengths improvement in Tigertiger, who arrived in Australia as a maiden last year.However, irrespective of the result, Blacker is expecting a career-best performance from Tigertiger.“He’s got a really turn of foot, but this is a big step up from the grade he’s been winning in,” Blacker said.“Being able to have a really good turn of foot over extreme distances, that’s something that can get a horse into good races.“He hasn’t shown me that he’s any better than Listed grade at the moment, but I actually reckon the 2400m is actually a bit short for him.“I’m going there expecting him to run a peak performance.”Daniel Moor has the job of guiding Tigertiger through his first crack at stakes racing.

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