Friday 3 February 2012
2011 South African horse of the year IGUGU delighted the crowds at Kenilworth on Saturday when digging deep to secure victory in the Gr 1 J&B Met. The Mike de Kock-trained daughter of Aga Khan Studs-bred Zarinia demonstrated both courage and class to beat the colts in this highlight of the Cape Town racing calendar. This was IGUGU’s second success against her male counterparts and fourth at the highest level, after lifting the Durban July Handicap as well as the “Triple Tiara” fillies’ triple crown in 2011, and was certainly her toughest test to date.
IGUGU had endured an interrupted preparation for the J&B Met, missing her intended trial run in the Gr 1 Paddock Stakes earlier in January due to a respiratory infection. Then after an 18-hour journey from her base at Randjesfontein, she was obliged to spend the days prior to the race in quarantine at Kenilworth racecourse owing to African Horse sickness restrictions. In the race itself, IGUGU did not show her customary early speed, breaking slowly and forced to race wide, where she was struck into. Despite this adversity, the daughter of Galileo summoned all her courage and rallied to a half-length victory in the final strides.
Often compared to Zarkava, IGUGU is from the same maternal line as the unbeaten 2008 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine, as the pair share the same fifth dam Zahra. IGUGU’s dam Zarinia (Intikhab) is out of Darshaan mare Zariliya and was sold to Australia for 30,000 Euros in 2004.
Trainer Mike de Kock is currently frustrated by African Horse Sickness protocols which prevent the sensational IGUGU from leaving South Africa and therefore participating in the Dubai Carnival at Meydan. The sensational filly has been successful over distances ranging from 1450m to 2450m on home soil and if restrictions are not lifted, she will be aimed at a second victory in the Gr 1 Durban July Handicap as her next major objective.
Updated on 31/01/2012.