Igugu defeats deep field in Durban July

Champion filly Igugu was the star turn in a day of firsts for Australian-bred gallopers at the Durban July meeting on Saturday.

Igugu started the popular elect for South Africa’s premier event after dominating the fillies in the Triple Tiara and she was just as impressive against a deep field in the G1 July Handicap.

Igugu (3f Galileo – Zarinia by Intikhab) was prepared to perfection by Mike de Kock and she emulated his former champion filly Ipi Tombe who won the 2002 July.  Anthony Delpech settled the $3 favourite on the heels of the leader Happy Landing and received a perfect tow to the race.

The Gaileo filly dashed clear and refused to buckle in the final furlong to defeat Pierre Jourdan (Parade Leader) and English Garden (Camden Park) by a length in front of a capacity crowd at Greyville.

The Aussie expat was a $65,000 buy out of the Kia Ora consignment at the 2009 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale and was resold later that year for R1,000,000 at the Emperors Palace Ready-to-Run Sale.

Igugu is named after the Zulu word for ‘treasure’ and is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa.  He also races the Australian bred Galileo filly Mahbooba who won the 2010 Golden Slipper at Greyville.

Mahbooba won the UAE 1000 Guineas earlier this year and De Kock will set her stablemate for the 2012 Dubai World Cup.

Igugu continued Galileo’s unprecedented run of Group 1 success this year.  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 Serpour (Darshaan).

The Aussies made it a Group 1 treble at Greyville with the wins of Happy Archer (Garden Province Stakes) and Fighting Warrior (Golden Horseshoe).

Happy Archer (Dubawi) was bred in Queensland by Racetree and cost $23,000 at the 2009 Gold Coast Magic Millions.  She is a younger half-sister to LR Gold Coast Bracelet winner Femina Fashion (Shamardal).  

Fighting Warrior (Magic Albert) was bred by Attunga Stud and changed hands as a weanling and a yearling.  Oakwood Farm sold him for $29,000 at the 2010 Gold Coast Magic Millions.  He is part-owned by Fred Crabbia who also races Singapore pin-up Rocket Man.