(Photo : JC Photographics)
A RACING INSTITUTION”
“Igugu” means treasure or a jewel in Zulu, and this one’s appropriately named. Buyers will tell you, naming Australian yearlings can be a nightmare, given their 16 000-odd foals a year and racing’s prohibition against two horses with the same name.
So, if you want to register in a hurry (they have to get through our registrar, as well as the Oz Keeper of the Studbook,) a Zulu name generally gets the job done, because they’re not enormously popular Down Under.
Igugu happens to be a daughter of the European Champion sire, Galileo (destined to pick up his 2nd title this year) from the Aga Khan family of the world’s best racehorse of 2008, the unbeaten Zarkava, and yesterday at the Vaal, she did both her name and her pedigree justice.
Four lengths was the margin of demolition, and it’s entirely conceivable that by Sunday morning, the 7th November, she might’ve repaid in full the hefty R1 million Andre Macdonald shelled out for her from the Summerhill draft at last year’s Emperors Palace Ready To Run sale, when she lines up for the R1,5 million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup prize that goes with the race of the associated name
Macdonald is a racing institution, and if anyone deserves it, he does. He’s been around for decades, and the extent of his financial commitment to the game matches the longevity of his involvement.
While it’s been documented before, it’s worth repeating : “Mac” ended up with this one (Igugu) at a round million after bowing out at R2 million for Uthawini (another Galileo filly) following a protracted dual with one of Dubai’s Sheikhs. Here was a man, like us of modest beginnings, taking on one of the most powerful dynasties on earth, and giving best only when the cash register had rung up the second million. And then, as if justice had decreed it, ending with what looks like a bit of a star in the making - or should we say, a “jewel”.