5 Win Trans Tasman Saturday - Imperatriz Breathtaking

Date: 10 Sep 2023

5 Win Trans Tasman Saturday - Imperatriz Breathtaking


Horse of the Year contender Imperatriz (5 m I Am Invincible – Berimbau, by Shamardal) made a real statement when resuming with a track record victory in the $300,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (Gr. 2, 1000m) on Saturday at Moonee Valley.

The first runner for the new Te Akau stable at Cranbourne, Imperatriz ended her previous campaign brilliantly winning the $1m William Reid Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) in March at Moonee Valley, showed her class to win before finishing second in two preparatory trials, and presented in first-class order.

Under the tutelage of assistant trainer Ben Gleeson, Imperatriz faced hot favourite Giga Kick (Scissor Kick), winner of the Everest and two Group Ones, but it mattered little despite drawing the outside gate (7) as she circled around and cleared out to win by two and half lengths.

On Good3 footing, Imperatriz clocked 56.68, beating the previous 1000-metre track record of 56.84, running her last 600m in a scintillating 32.6, and paid $4.20 & $2.10 on the NZ TAB tote. 

It was a stunning performance and a super ride by Kiwi Michael Dee, who never required the persuader and used just hands and heels.  

Imperatriz has now won 14 of her 20 starts and over $2 million in prize money.

Purchased for $360,000 by David Ellis CNZM at the Gold Coast Yearling Sale 2020, from the draft of Bhima Thoroughbreds, Imperatriz is owned by Te Akau Invincible Empress Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

Winner last season of the Sistema Railway (Gr. 1, 1200m) and BCD Sprint (Gr. 1, 1400m) in New Zealand, before finishing second in the Canterbury Stakes (Gr. 1, 1300m) at Randwick, and winning the weight-for-age $1m William Reid Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) at Moonee Valley, Imperatriz was an unbeaten two-year-old, including the Eclipse Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m), won the Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m) and NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m) to claim her three-year-old crown, and won five Group One races.

“It’s a huge relieve and adds to the day they’ve had at home (New Zealand) with four winners and a Group One,” Gleeson said.

“Mark (Walker) and Sam (Bergerson) sent her over to me in incredible order. They’re an amazing group of staff and it speaks volumes for the way she’s shown up and raced today.

“We planned to drop in behind the speed, but Mick (Dee) read the race perfectly and the way she let down was suited to the way the race panned out.

“Te Akau has been an incredibly welcoming organization to me and Mark and Sam and Dave & Karyn they make it feel like a family.

“Mark has been very trusting of me over here and it’s been pretty straightforward, but to be part of something special is a nice feeling.”



From Hawkes Bay, Dee combined to win aboard Te Akau runners and subsequent Group One winners Prise De Fer (Savabeel) and Savy Yong Blonk (Savabeel) on New Year 2020 at Ellerslie, and previously won aboard former stable-mate and dual Group One winner Shillelagh (Savabeel).

“It was little bit concerning when Giga Kick came around, but I know she’s got a great turn of foot as we’ve all seen in the past,” Dee said.

“As it turned out, I pressed the button too soon because she hit the front within three or four strides.

“Opie (Bosson) said to me yesterday she’s got the best turn of foot of any horse that he’s ever felt and I’ve got to say it’s probably the best one that I’ve ever felt too.

“She came straight up underneath me when I asked the question, it was just a matter of getting to the outside and she was very, very strong through the line.”


Photo credit - www.breednet.com/www.rsn.net.au


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