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Igugu Crowned South African Horse Of The Year
12th Aug 2011
Record breaking filly Igugu last night had her name etched into the history books when crowned South African Horse Of The Year for season 2010/11 at the country’s Equus Awards in Johannesburg.
Igugu, a graduate of Inglis’ Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, did not race as a two-year-old, but quickly made up for lost time, notching eight wins and two placing’s from 10 starts in her classic season, highlighted by three Group 1 victories.
Bred and sold by Kia Ora Stud, IGUGU ($65,000 2009 Premier, 4m Galileo-Zarinia) became only the 12th filly in 114 years to win South Africa’s premier race, the Group 1 Durban July (2200m) last month, in the process establishing a new benchmark for a three-year-old filly by carrying 55kgs to victory.
Earlier in the season the daughter of Galileo became the first filly to win the Triple Tiara and the R1million bonus that goes with it, taking the Group 2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas (1600m), Group 1 South African Fillies Classic (1800m) and Group 2 South African Oaks (2450m) by a combined margin of 20 lengths. Igugu then trounced her opposition in the Group 1 Woolavington 2,000 Stakes (2000m) heading into the Durban July.
The star filly finished the season as the joint highest-rated horse in South Africa, having raced in all three of the nation’s major racing centres.
Igugu is the second foal of the unraced Intikhab mare Zarinia (IRE) and hails from the family of Champion French filly Zarkava. After being purchased by Summerhill Stud in Melbourne Igugu was exported to South Africa and sold for R1million ($A135,000) from Summerhill’s draft at the 2009 Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Sale.
After her third win, Igugu changed hands to race for the highly successful Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa al Maktoum-Mike de Kock combination, which have previously raced the likes of Easter graduate Musir to Champion 2YO Colt and Champion 3YO Colt honours in South Africa and United Arab Emirates respectively.
Igugu’s connections now have plans to contest next year’s Dubai World Cup carnival, despite not being able to take the normal route for South African horses through Europe, due to outbreaks of African Horse Sickness in her home country earlier in the year. Racing South Africa is hoping the United Arab Emirates allows a limited number of direct horse transport flights into Dubai for the 2012 carnival.
de Kock recently indicated Igugu’s stablemates, Group 1 Golden Horseshoe runner-up Mushreq ($350,000 Easter, 3c Flying Spur-Alharir) and Group 2 winner Safwan ($250,000 Easter, 5g Encosta de Lago-Showella), will also be bound for United Arab Emirates if the export difficulties can be overcome.
Photo: JC Photographics/ Summerhill Stud