The Group 1 Cape Fillies Guineas at Kenilworth on Saturday looms as a match race between locally-trained Ebony Flyer and Australian-bred visitor Igugu.
Ebony Flyer (Jet Master) is undefeated in three appearances and was very impressive on her seasonal debut in the G2 Odessa Stud Championship last month. The Justin Snaith trained filly will be a popular choice to become the first horse since her older half sister Captain’s Lover to complete the Odessa – Fillies Guineas double.
Notwithstanding her undoubted ability, South African reports maintain it would be unwise to dismiss Igugu in the prestigious classic.
Igugu (3f Galileo – Zarinia by Intikhab) was surprisingly beaten by another Aussie bred Street Cry filly Hollywoodboulevard in the Ready To Run Cup at Turffontein in November.
The winner did pay the form a very big compliment when thumping her rivals in the G3 Fillies Mile at Turffontein last Saturday.
The Galileo filly had been unbeaten in three starts before the Ready to Run Cup. She won twice at Vaal by a combined margin of seven lengths before graduating to a black-type victory in the G3 Joburg Spring Challenge at Turffontein in October.
“She had to miss 10 days of work before the Ready To Run Cup and was making up ground big time at the finish,” De Kock said. “Make no mistake, Hollywoodboulevard is a very, very good horse. A blind man can see that Igugu will prefer the extra trip.”
Igugu is raced in partnership by Summerhill Stud owner Mick Goss with Andre Macdonald, Rodney Thorpe and Roger Zeeman. She was a $65,000 buy out of the Kia Ora consignment at the 2009m Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale.
Her dam Zarinia was bred by The Aga Khan and hails from the family of his 2008 Arc de Triomphe winner Zarkava (Zamindar ) and G1 VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Zerpour (Darshaan).
Stimela (Johannesburg) and Dancing Royale (Danehill Dancer) are other Australian bred fillies holding an engagement for the Cape Fillies.