HORSERACING fans are in for a feast of high-quality action on Champions Day at Turffontein this Saturday, when nine feature races will be run.
Star filly Igugu will attempt to make history by becoming the first winner of the SA Triple Tiara for three-year-old fillies.
Igugu is bang on target for the history books and the R1-million Triple Tiara bonus after winning the first two legs of the series – the 1600m SA Fillies Guineas in which she floored Hollywoodboulevard by four lengths, and then the 1800m SA Fillies Classic last month, when she made all and won by 10.25 lengths.
Ears pricked, fit and ready: Champion filly Igugu with groom Dyantsi, photographed at Randjesfontein on Friday.
She looks in a different league to her 10 rivals in the final leg, the SA Oaks in which the handicapper rates her six lengths better than any of her opponents, and the only real question mark about her chances is the 2450m distance.
Realistically, there seems little chance of her not staying well enough to win. She’s by Epsom Derby winner Galileo and was showing no signs of stopping at the finish of the SA Fillies Classic, which was run on soft ground. On top of that, class rather than stamina is often the deciding factor in the SA Derby and Oaks with the result that good 2000m runners usually prevail over stayers.
Victory for Igugu will nearly double her earnings to R3.1 million and give champion trainer Mike de Kock the unique distinction of being the only trainer to have won the SA Triple Crown and the SA Triple Tiara. De Kock’s charge, Horse Chestnut, won the inaugural Triple Crown back in 1999 and remains the only horse to have done so.
Igugu’s Triple Tiara bid will be one of the highlights of an amazing afternoon that also contains three Grade 1 events in the President’s Champion Challenge, the SA Derby and the Computaform Sprint. It’s going to be fabulous racing action from start to finish and the TAB pools will be huge, giving horseplayers many chances to win big!