(Photo : JC Photos / Summerhill Stud)
J&B MET (Grade 1)
Kenilworth, Turf, 2000m
28 January 2012
Horseracing fans can stand by for a grand afternoon of racing at Kenilworth this Saturday as champion filly Igugu, currently the darling of South African racing, will be out to post her seventh-straight success in Cape Town’s premier race, the R2,5 million J&B Met over 2000m… and there are four other feature events on the 10-race card.
It’s going to be a fabulous occasion with huge TAB pools, glorious fashion, dazzling two and four-legged fillies and loads of chances to win big.
Igugu, a graduate from the Summerhill Stud draft of the 2009 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale, is one of the shortest-priced J&B Met favourites for years and on paper she has her rivals stone cold. Fortune smiled on her in the draw for starting gate positions and she will jump from No 7 stall, plus on all known form she’s got at least two lengths in hand of all her opponents.
The only concern is her fitness. A bout of flu interrupted her preparation for a few days and her official gallop last week didn’t quite go according to plan with the result that she didn’t have as testing a workout as was hoped.
That said, trainer Mike de Kock has few, if any, equals in the world at preparing a horse for a big day and Igugu should be fit enough to notch her 10th success in only 12 career starts.
Her only previous visit to Kenilworth ended in a rare defeat when she got going too late to tag Ebony Flyer in the 1600m Cape Fillies Guineas 14 months ago. But that was a race that just didn’t go her way, rather than her having any difficulty handling a left-handed track, and with average luck in running her natural brilliance should see her safely home come Saturday.
Mike de Kock will also saddle smart stayer Ilsanpietro, who has proved to be a talented performer at middle distances as well in recent months.
Ilsanpietro was second in the 1800m Victory Moon Stakes and the 2000m Sansui Summer Cup during Phumelela’s Spring-Summer Season and those efforts indicate he’s more than capable of playing a role in the finish of the J&B Met, although the fast Kenilworth 2000m is hardly his ideal battleground.
Igugu’s contemporary, The Apache, is one of the best four-year-olds around and is another set to be involved in the finish.
Tales Of Bravery, Beach Beauty and smart three-year-old Gimmethegreenlight, whose stamina is questionable, look the pick of the locals but the De Kock duo and The Apache look set to take home the lion’s share of the money.
Extract from Tab Online