As the sun rose over Greyville Racecourse on Saturday, 2 July 2011, the track was already bustling with activity, with trainers and grooms getting horses ready for one of the biggest events on the South African horse racing calendar, while racecourse staff began preparing for the arrival of thousands of horse racing fans and celebrities. The 2011 Durban July was attended by approximately fifty thousand spectators. While the ladies showed off their magnificent designer outfits and tried to ignore the pain of strutting around in stiletto heels, there was another lady getting ready to be in the spotlight, namely Igugu.
In the hundred and fourteen years that the Durban July has been run, only twelve fillies have won this event, and on Saturday, Igugu became a part of this elite group. She was bred in Australia and is owned by the well known Sheik Mohamed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. She is trained by Mike de Kock and is fast becoming one of the best racing fillies to have ever been on the South African horse racing circuit.
In her build up to the Durban July, Igugu raced to victory in the Gauteng Guineas, the SA Fillies Classic and the SA Oaks, where she delivered a convincing performance each time. Anthony Delpech was teamed up with Igugu for the 2011 Durban July, and once again, she did not disappoint, showing her male counterparts that they should be wary of the talent that lies with some fillies. De Kock had five horses in the race, but Igugu was carrying a lot of weight, which made some doubt her. She was still, however, sent off as the favorite for the event, and the Galileo sired three-year-old lived up to the expectations of her fans.
As the starting gates swung open, Igugu got off to a very fast start, taking the lead, but then settled down, and let others set the pace for a while, until they turned for home, when she suddenly jumped into action again, and took the lead for home. Pierre Jordan followed her home in second place, with English Garden in third, The Apache in forth and Bulsara in fifth position. Sixth position was taken by Big City Life, Bravura came in seventh, with eighth position going to Emerald Cove. Igugu has now boosted her career to eight victories and two second place finishes, walking away with just over R1,7 million for her connections. She is undoubtedly not afraid of taking on the boys, and proved she is a worthy contender.