SA OAKS (Grade 2)
Turffontein, Turf, 2450m
30 April 2011
England was presented with a new princess on Friday when Prince William married his Catherine with much pomp and ceremony writes Nicci Garner. A day later on Champions Day at Turffontein, South Africa crowned its own princess with almost as much revelry when Igugu (AUS) (Galileo (IRE) - Zarinia (IRE) brought a huge crowd to its feet as she annihilated her opposition in the R750,000 SA Oaks (Grade 2) to take the SA Triple Tiara, and the R1-million bonus.
Igugu, a Summerhill Stud graduate from the 2009 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale, tracked pacemaker Princess Of Light and took over as the field cornered into the long straight. She never looked like getting beaten after that. Princess Of Light battled bravely, but could not sustain her effort as Igugu went away in the final 400m to win by 5.75 lengths.
Princess Of Light kept going gamely to finish second, 6.50 lengths ahead of Igugu’s stablemate Ilha Grande.
Igugu had been impressive in winning the first two legs of the Triple Tiara, beating Hollywoodboulevard by 4 lengths in the Gauteng Fillies Guineas (1600m) on 26 February and scoring a 10.25 length victory over Las Ramblas in the second leg, the Grade 1 SA Fillies Classic (1800m) on 26 March.
Her victory in the Grade 2 SA Oaks on Champions Day rewrote the history books. No other filly had managed to win all three Triple Tiara races since the series was introduced by Phumelela in 1999. That year her trainer Mike de Kock saddled the mighty Horse Chestnut to win the Triple Crown, the male-female equivalent of the Triple Crown, and he is still the only trainer to have accomplished that feat.
Many racing fans globally agree that, in the words of jockey Anthony Delpech: “Mike de Kock is a legend.”
De Kock said afterwards that he had studied the methods used by American trainers in preparing their horses for the famous USA Triple Crown and that together with the knowledge he acquired from Horse Chestnut had been invaluable in preparing Igugu for her Triple Tiara bid.
When asked to compare Horse Chestnut and Igugu, he said: “It’s tough to compare generations. I wouldn’t slot her in second behind Horse Chestnut, but she is right up there with the best fillies I have trained.”
All being well, Igugu will now head to KwaZulu-Natal for the winter season and is set to run in the Woolavington Stakes (Grade 1) and the Vodacom Durban July (Grade 1) before heading overseas for the 2012 Dubai International Racing Carnival.
SA OAKS (GR2)
|1||0.00||IGUGU||58.0||109||2||A Delpech||Mike de Kock|
|2||5.75||PRINCESS OF LIGHT||58.0||92||6||M Mienie||Geoff Woodruff|
|3||12.25||ILHA GRANDE||58.0||90||4||G Lerena||Mike de Kock|
|4||22.00||MAR LODGE||58.0||75||1||G Wrogemann||Robbie Sage|
|5||25.00||STORMY COAST||58.0||92||9||S Brown||George Scott|
|6||27.50||CHERRY ON THE CAKE||58.0||85||7||D Mansour||Gavin van Zyl|
|7||27.75||MICRO JET||58.0||73||3||M V’Rensburg||Stuart Pettigrew|
|8||31.00||KEEP ON DREAMING||58.0||77||5||*N Juglall||Kumaran Naidoo|
|9||43.00||JUSTTHEWAYYOUARE||58.0||95||8||A Marcus||Geoff Woodruff|
|10||0.00||CHECCETTI||58.0||97||1||K Shea||Mike de Kock|
|11||0.00||NAUTICAL||58.0||68||4||D David||Brian Wiid|
Extract from TAB Online