In her new surroundings, she was partnered with trainer Michael de Kock, whom most may remember prior to this as the trainer of Horse Chestnut. Admittedly not quite fit enough from her travel, she landed 2nd by a half-length in her South African debut, with de Kock proclaiming she was far better than seen that day. His words were prophetic, as Ipi Tombe never lost a race afterward.
Always seeking better competition, Ipi Tombe ventured out of her gender-restricted races, and faced older males in South Africa's most prestigious race, the Durban July Cup. Blocked for much of the running, she finally got clear and forged ahead to a highly popular victory.
Purchased by Team Valor and WinStar Farm after that race, de Kock took Ipi Tombe to Dubai for the winter. After a short rest, she rattled off an amazing trio of victories against some of the world's finest horses, while giving weight, and setting new time records. Her unbelievable comeback from trouble in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes was nothing short of miraculous. A national heroine in Dubai, she returned to the winner's circle to the rhythmical chanting of her name.
Ipi Tombe retired with an impressive record of 12 wins and 2 seconds from 14 starts and earnings of 1,529,799. She was bred to leading European sire Sadler's Wells and sold at the November Tattersalls Auction in Newmarket for the equivalent of US $1,659,514.
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