De Kock defends Igugu

Champion South African trainer Mike De Kock has come out firing in defence of his Australian bred filly Igugu after the G1 Cape Fillies Guineas at Kenilworth last weekend.

Igugu (3f Galileo – Zarinia by Intikhab) was beaten by Ebony Flyer, however, De Kock isn’t convinced the winner is a better filly.  “Congratulations to Ebony Flyer’s connections but my filly had no chance given her position in the race,” De Kock said.  “It wasn’t Anthony Delpech’s best ride.  I didn’t want Igugu to race behind the favourite and her fate was settled when she remained wide.”

Ebony Flyer (Jet Master) got an early break on Igugu who battled gamely to be beaten a length and change.  “Ebony Flyer was impressive but in my view Igugu is just as good.  She had to travel 18 hours to get to the Cape while the winner was in her own back yard.

“Let’s hope we can see the pair of them compete on a neutral playing field in one of the fillies’ features in Durban next year.”

Before then, De Kock will prepare Igugu for the Triple Tiara which comprises the G2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas, G1 SA Fillies Classic and G2 South African Oaks between February and April.

Igugu was a $65,000 buy out of the Kia Ora consignment at the 2009 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale.  Her dam Zarinia was bred by The Aga Khan and hails from the family of his 2008 Arc de Triomphe winner Zarkava (Zamindar ) and G1 VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Zerpour (Darshaan).