Igugu and Frankel - Progeny of Galileo
(Image : JC Photos / Telegraph)
NEWMARKET AND TURFFONTEIN
Saturday 31 April 2011
Following the breaking news yesterday of the death of legendary sire, Sadler’s Wells, this Saturday ironically sees a son and daughter of his son, Galileo, line up at the heads of affairs in the weekend’s two big races in the UK and South Africa respectively.
Frankel (GB) (Galileo (Ire) - Kind (Ire)) tackles the English Classic, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, whilst Igugu (AUS) (Galileo (Ire) - Zarinia (Ire)) aims to become the first horse in history to achieve the SA Triple Tiara when she steps up for the SA Oaks at Turffontein.
QIPCO 2000 Guineas
Frankel, a brilliant juvenile champion who won all of his races in great style last year, is a heavy favourite for this classic, following an easy win in the Greenham Stakes (G3) at Newbury on his reappearance. With five wins from as many starts, Frankel may be one of the best colts seen for some time in Europe and he will not be easy to beat. He was pulling a bit early on at Newbury, where his employed pacemaker was unable to go quickly enough, but he was visually impressive in his effortless 4-length win over Excelebration.
A son of dual Derby winner Galileo, Frankel is out of a sprinting mare, and he showed plenty of speed in his first season. His best performance came when he slammed Klammer by 10 lengths in the Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) over a mile at Ascot in September. Frankel had won a maiden at Newmarket (beating Nathaniel and Genius Beast) and a conditions race at Doncaster on his previous starts, and he absolutely hacked up at Ascot, beating Klammer out of sight. Klammer went on to win the Horris Hill Stakes (G3) on his next outing. In mid-October, Frankel was ready for his first Group One race, the prestigious Dewhurst Stakes (G1) over a straight 7 furlongs at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course - the venue for the Guineas. His main rival based on previous form, Dream Ahead, ran well below his best and that took some of the gloss off of Frankel’s performance. He was pulling early in the race, and never really settled, but when Tom Queally let him loose it was soon all over. Frankel quickened up to win the Dewhurst by 2¼ lengths from the Irish trained 25-1 shot Roderic O’Connor, with another Irish colt, Glor Na Mara (33-1) in third. It seemed that he had beaten rather ordinary rivals on the day but Roderic O’Connor gave the form a nice boost when winning the Criterium International (G1) at Saint-Cloud two weeks later.
Frankel may also be a contender for the Investec Derby (G1) at Epsom in June, and he holds an entry for the Dante Stakes (G2) at York in May - normally the strongest Derby prep in England. Will he stay the Derby distance? It is not impossible. His half-brother Bullet Train won the Lingfield Derby Trial (G3) last year (admittedly a weak eadition), and it is also interesting to note that last year’s Irish Derby winner, Cape Blanco, is also a son of Galileo out of a sprinting dam. Frankel’s dam, Kind, has a stout pedigree and on breeding there is no reason Frankel won’t stay 1½ miles. His running style, on the other hand, says he is unlikely to appreciate such a test of stamina. The mile trip of the 2,000 Guineas is probably ideal - Geir Stabell.
Few horses bought for a million rand or more ever recoup there purchase price on the track, but not only has Igugu already done that, but she will also earn her purchase price in bonus money alone if becoming the first horse in history to win South Africa’s Triple Tiara. A R1million purchase from the 2009 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale, Igugu couldn’t have been more impressive when winning her first three career starts. She was sent off at prohibitive odds to win the R1,5Million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup as result of those efforts and running on stoutly at the finish of that 1400m event, was only beaten a length. She again tasted defeat when a runner up to the highly regarded Ebony Flyer in the Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas, where finishing as well as the winner in the closing stages of the race, she was beaten by a similar margin. Since returning to the Highveld though, Igugu has taken off out of all proportion. Indeed, the manner in which she gained revenge over her Ready To Run Cup conqueror, Hollywoodboulevard in the first leg of the Triple Tiara was stunning. That success though, was nothing compared to the hiding that she handed out to her seven rivals in the second leg, the Gr2 SA Fillies Classic last time out. Adopting a change of tactics in that event, Igugu was taken straight to the front by jockey’s log leader, Anthony Delpech, and led throughout. She was four lengths clear entering the long home straight and despite the efforts of the chasing pack, she cruised clear in the latter stages of the race to score by ten!
Igugu rates twelve points clear of her nearest rival in the merit ratings here and with her connections confident that she will see out the extra, taking her place in the history books looks like a formality - Steve Furnish.