IGUGU - PLANS SET FOR J & B MET 2012
Mike De Kock, trainer of Horse of the Year Igugu, discussed details of her future on the television show “Inside Racing’’ on Tellytrack this week. He went into detail about her plans for the upcoming season, but also denied a rematch with Ebony Flyer in the Queen's Plate, a race in which Igugu was beaten by the tough Cape filly.
Igugu was meant to be on a plane to Dubai but for the export protocol issues with South Africa and the international world. The star filly will now aim for the Grade 1 Paddock Stakes and then the J&B Met during the Cape season before attempting to fly to Europe subject to the potocol situation.
"She’s a very robust filly and she can be a handful. There was no way I was going to take the route via Mauritius," said De Kock about the alternative route taken by some horses to get to Dubai for the Carnival season next year.
“However, I’m confident we will clear it all up. If all goes well Igugu will stay in Cape Town after the Met and go directly into quarantine. From there she can go to Europe. That would be first prize. There are indications that things will change.’’
De Kock mentioned that she has had a beak and will run in Gauteng before going to Cape Town. “She has just started cantering again and the plan is to either race her in the Ipi Tombe Challenge or a Pinnacle Stakes a couple of weeks later. I didn’t want to wind her up for the Sansui Summer Cup and it also makes sense to stick to weight-for-age races right now. She’s done enough at handicap level. Joburg also has a fantastic Autumn season and then there’s Durban. I can tell you that if she’s still around in South Africa in July, I will have another crack at the Vodacom Durban July," he continued.
De Kock's other young superstar in the making, the classy Amanee, had been injured and will only return to the tracks sometime next year.
“She had a felock chip and she’s had an operation. She will be staying in Joburg and will probably go the same route as Igugu and run in the Triple Tiara races (Gauteng Fillies Guineas, SA Fillies Classic and SA Oaks).
“I gave all my horses a really good break and rested them longer than normal. I was fairly hard on them last season and we’ve also got some unraced horses who need to get out. They seem to be fairly decent but you never know until they are exposed.
“Of the older horses I feel Link Man is doing exceptionally well and we’ll probably line him up for the Queen’s Plate. Kavanagh has come back well from the rest. He’s is completely different horse but he has let me down before and we will have to see how he goes once he starts racing again before getting too excited.’’