Andre and Joyce Macdonald lead Igugu with grandaughters Joey and Gaby
(Photo : JC Photographics / Summerhill Stud)
SASCOC TRIPLE TIARA CHALLENGER
The Australian-bred filly secured the first leg of the series at Turffontein last Saturday - the R500,000 Gauteng Fillies Guineas (Grade 2) over 1600m.
Andre confirms that Igugu will tackle the next two legs - the R1million SA Fillies Classic on 26 March and the R750,000 SA Oaks on 30 April.
He expects the 1800m of the Classic to suit Igugu better than Saturday’s mile contest, which saw her trounce her nearest rival by four lengths.
And, with Epsom Derby winner Galileo being her sire, there’s a fair chance she has the pedigree to stay the 2450m of the Oaks.
Andre and Joyce, prominent Highveld owners for many years, bought Igugu on the 2009 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale for R1million. Ironically, she was their second choice among Galileo’s progeny on that auction - after they’d been outbid for another filly at R2.2million.
The couple sent their purchase to trainer Mike de Kock, hoping there might be an overseas campaign in her future.
Champion breeder, Summerhill Stud, also sensed special talent and patrons took a minority share.
The filly won her first three starts, including the Grade 3 Joburg Spring F&M Challenge, before going down to Hollywoodboulevard in the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup and then to Ebony Flyer in the Cape Fillies Guineas.
“The Cape Town loss was probably due to the long trip; and there was something wrong on Ready To Run Cup day,” says Andre. “But she showed her true form this Saturday.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Makoum recently purchased a half share in Igugu, buying out Summerhill in the process, and the filly carried his silks to victory in the Fillies Guineas.
Details of the transaction are confidential, but Andre declares it to be a “good deal” he is “very happy” with.
The Classic and Oaks are likely to be Igugu’s last outings in South Africa before she is shipped to the sheik’s domain in Dubai.
Extract from Racing Association