The death of star mare, Igugu

IT was reported on Thursday that Igugu, Mike de Kock’s star mare and winner of the Durban July and J&B Met, had died, apparently in Europe.

Facebook-based TSA News, doing a story on Igugu’s stakes-placed half-sister Ngaga (trained by Andre Nel), came across the shocking information that South Africa’s once darling mare had died on 24 November, 2016. It was reported in the Australian Stud Book.

“It was devastating to read that the four-time Gr1 winner had in fact died – were we the only one to miss this?” queried TSA and the answer is, they weren’t!

“This is simply bizarre,” said Mike de Kock when informed of Igugu’s death on Thursday evening. “It boggles my mind that it took the best part of a year for us to get to know about Igugu’s death when she’s the type of mare who’d deserve a state funeral!

Igugu, charmer, champion.

Igugu, charmer, champion.

“All of us at the stable are taken by this and sad, but we won’t dwell on the fact that the info came to us so terribly late. Igugu was a wonderful champion in all respects, a top mare with vast amounts of courage and a big favourite to all in the yard. We salute her with fond memories!”

As for the rest of the report, further credit to TSA, who wrote:

Foaled in Australia, the Kia Ora Stud-bred Igugu was the second named foal of the unraced Zarinia (IRE). Purchased at the 2009 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale by Livestock Traders for A$65,000, the filly was sent to South Africa where she was then sold as part of the Summerhill Stud draft at the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale in 2009 when secured by Andre Macdonald for R1 million.

With part of the filly purchased privately to race in the silks of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum after her first few starts, the Mike de Kock-trained Igugu went on to claim the Gr1 South African Fillies Classic and the Gr1 Woolavington on her way to a stunning victory over Pierre Jourdan (SAF) in the 2011 Gr1 Vodacom Durban July, her eighth win from just 10 starts.

After a break, she resumed with a win in Gr2 Ipi Tombe Challenge before capturing the Gr1 J&B Met over Bravura (SAF) and Gimmthegreenlight (AUS).

Set to take on the world, Igugu raced in Dubai, Hong Kong and in the UK, but another victory eluded the Champion mare, and retirement beckoned.

Having produced her first foal on February 1, 2015, the now two-year-old filly has been named Atlaal (GB) (Dansili (GB)) and is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum in the stable of Hugo Palmer, while her second, a colt by the very same sire was foaled on February 18.

Covered by Invincible Spirit (IRE), the Australian Stud Book reports Igugu died on November 24, 2016.

Igugu’s Race Record: Horse of the Year in South Africa in 2010-11. Champion 3YO Filly & Middle Distance Horse in South Africa in 2010-11. Champion Older Female in South Africa in 2011-12. 10 wins from 1200m to 2450m, £7,955, R5,684,375, 645,920Dhs, Greyville Woolavington S., Gr.1, Durban July H., Gr.1, Kenilworth J&B Metropolitan H., Gr.1, Turffontein South African Fillies Classic, Gr.1, South African Oaks, Gr.2, Ipi Tombe Challenge, Gr.2, Gauteng Fillies Guineas, Gr.2, Johannesburg Spring Fillies & Mares Challenge, Gr.3, 2d Kenilworth Cape Fillies Guineas, Gr.1, Newmarket Rosemary S., L, Turffontein Emperors Palace Ready to Run Cup, 3d Meydan Balanchine S., Gr.2.