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Igugu Preparing For First UK Start
The Mike de Kock-trained trio of Soft Falling Rain, Igugu & The Apache will be aimed at British Champions Day, reports thenational.ae. It is believed that Igugu and Soft Falling Rain will each have a prep run at Newmarket on Friday week before heading to Ascot on October 19 for the climax of the British Champions Series. Former champion South African filly Igugu is slated to contest the Listed Rosemary Stakes (8 furlongs) for fillies & mares, while the previously undefeated Soft Falling Rain will run in the Gr2 Nayef Joel Stakes (1600m). The Australian-bred Igugu (Galileo-Zarinia, by Intikhab) has not raced since finishing a disappointing eighth to Military Attack in the Hong Kong Queen Elizabeth II Cup in April. De Kock has given her plenty of time to get over her problems, which manifested in her remaining in a southern hemisphere cycle. "Igugu was in season for the whole of her Dubai campaign and then again during the two months of hot weather in Newmarket but is better now," said De Kock's Newmarket foreman Steve Jell. "We have the British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes in mind for her. It is over a mile and a half but that should not be a problem as she won the Oaks over further than that back home in South Africa." Soft Falling Rain (National Assembly - Gardener's Delight, by Giant's Causeway) lost his unbeaten tag when going down to Gregorian in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury last month. It was the 4YOs first run since winning the Gr2 Godolphin Mile at Meydan in March. "He had a long break before his second place in the Hungerford Stakes so he needed the race. He was beaten by a decent horse and we were not upset at all by that defeat," Jell said. "The Gr1 Queen Elizabeth?II over the straight mile has always been the long-term plan." The Apache (Mogok-Apache Rose, by Dolpour) will head straight to Ascot for the Gr1 Champion Stakes (10 furlongs).