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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Hey America, get to know Igugu

Who is Igugu?

Some have called her Africa’s Zenyatta. That’s great, but what does it really mean?

Let’s take a look at some of her basic stats; Igugu, owned by a partnership that includes Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, and trained by Mike de Kock, is a 4-year-old Australian bred daughter of Galileo out of Zarinia, by Intikhab. She has won 10 of her 12 starts, while finishing 2nd in her only two losses. Both of those defeats came back in 2010, by the way. Igugu is also the reigning Horse of the Year in South Africa.


Out of arguably the finest sire in the world, and with a record like that, you can begin to see why she is a dominant figure in South African racing. And for those of you who might not know, South Africa is a nation with excellent racing. It is not unusual to see top horses, usually from the de Kock barn, come from South Africa to prove their class on a world stage.

I first became familiar with Igugu last April when she became the first horse in history to sweep her current nation’s Triple Tiara. The capper of the series came in the South African Oaks.


Not to rest on her laurels against her own age and gender, Igugu took on the best older males in South Africa two races later when she lined up in the country’s most important race, the Group 1 Durban July at the demanding distance of approximately 1 3/8 miles.


Given a rest after that huge win, Igugu came back in December in the one-mile, Group 2 Ipi Tombe Challenge. As you are about to see, the race proved no contest.


Starting off 2012 by continuing her winning ways would not be easy. After the Durban July, the Group 1 J & B Met is South Africa’s most important race. In the past 75 years, only four horses had been able to sweep the pair of prestigious races, and Igugu was not coming into the race in the best of ways. After missing a work due to a respiratory problem, she travelled 18 hours just to get to Kenilworth and then had to go through a difficult quarantine process. Her trainer did not think she was, or could be 100% for the race. As you are about to see, this filly is not only brilliant, she is also brave as can be. Wherever she runs in the future, I hope you join me in watching.



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Older Comments about Hey America, get to know Igugu...

Galileo really know how to make them. Any one know if he have any successful off spring that run on dirt? His pedigree has many dirt runner.
Very interesting AnnaK.
She's such a complete thrill, a great wonderful girl. Read an interesting article about horses in Africa a while back. The reason the Arabs never went south of the Sahara was because the tsetse fly had such a devastating effect on horses, too many would sicken and die. And if the Arabs couldn't take their horses, they lost interest in going. The fly being the reason there are virtually no horses in the great middle swath of Africa.
Just a rest and almost 4 months of quarantine, I guess.
I''m behind the curve on this nice mare. What kept her out for over a year?
so excited.!!!!
Finally coming back ... Thursday at Meydan!
What a great thought, Jasen!
Enjoyed this immensly! It occured to me that in 2011 four countries had female HOTY: Australia-Black Caviar, US-HDG, Canada-Biofuel was named in April 2011, Inglorius is a serious contender; and now Igugu for SA.
Maybe she'll come over for the Beverly D, like River Jetez did last year. Maybe a Igugu/Mr. Commons double Mr. Zipse?
What a brilliant effort in the J&B Met! Watching her run gives me goosebumps. Thank you for sharing this, Brian.
Thank you for sharing - love learning about racing all over the world!
Nice horse, I follow American, Irish, UK and Australian racing but I'll have to add SA racing to the list.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. 

Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
As Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also consults for leading contest site Derby Wars, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.  

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