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Lights. Camera. Alajmal?
Elliot-trained jumper criss-crossed continents before finding his niche
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CAROLINA CUP FAVORITE ALAJMAL proved that he was not camera-shy when he got as close to a television camera as possible during Wednesdays media day for Saturdays race at the Springdale Race Course. - photo by C-I photo by Tom Didato
Born in Kentucky before moving to England for a short time, and later, moving to Kirkwood, Pa., before being sent to Camden, Alajmal might be considered a citizen of the world.Today, the 5-year-old gelding may also be considered to be the favorite going into Saturday afternoon’s 81st running of the $50,000 Carolina Cup.Saturday’s feature at the Springdale Race Course drew a starting field of seven jumpers for the leadoff batter in the National Steeplechase Association’s three-race Sport of Kings Novice Hurdle Stakes series. From Camden, the trek continues to the $50,000 Queens Cup in Mineral Springs, N.C., on April 27 before concluding with the $75,000 Marcellus Frost at the Iroquois meet in Nashville May 11.Surrounded by a bank of cameras and microphones at her barn located across the street from the Springdale Race Course, Hall of Fame trainer Janet Elliot and Alajmal received the royal treatment from those gathered for the race’s media day on Wednesday. In a way, it was fitting since Alajmal was bred in Kentucky on April 1, 2008 at Shadwell Farm, which is owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the Minister of Finance and Industry of the United Arab Emirates.When asked by one reporter if she knew what the name Alajmal meant in Arabic, Elliot gave a smile and admitted to having no clue as to its meaning.