Imperatriz Explosive in Grp 1 Moir - Breaks Own Track Record

Date: 1 Oct 2023

Imperatriz Explosive in Grp 1 Moir - Breaks Own Track Record

Imperatriz (5 m I Am Invincible – Berimbau, by Shamardal) produced another scintillating track record performance in the A$750,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (Gr. 1, 1000 metres) to nab her sixth Group One victory on Friday night at Moonee Valley.


The star sprinting mare in Australasia, Imperatriz took an immediate liking to the Strath Ayr surface when winning the A$1 million William Reid Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) in March and two further victories have resulted in a hat-trick on the course. 

She beat the previous 1000-metre track record of 56.84 when clocking 56.68 at her fresh-up course/distance victory in the McEwen Stakes (Gr. 2, 1000m) on 9 September, and lowered that in 56.47.

In a similarly run affair to the McEwen, where she circled around from last and cleared out to win by two and half lengths, Imperatriz chased a hot pace in seventh position before whistling home in quite unbelievable fashion to snaffle the leader 50m out and win drawing away by one and a quarter lengths.


The only horse sought in betting ($1.50), Imperatriz has now won 15 of her 21 starts and over $2.5 million in prize money.

It was the 92nd Group One victory for stable rider Opie Bosson and continued a whirlwind start to the season for new training partners Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson.

“It was a great tactical ride of Opie’s and the mare is absolutely flying,” Walker said. “She won two Group Ones over a mile as a three-year-old, so we can look forward to stepping her up again in distance, also.”

It was the 142nd stakes win for Walker, his 10th Group One since resuming at the helm on 1 April last year, and second with Bergerson following Skew Wiff (Savabeel) in the Tarzino Trophy (Gr. 1, 1400m) on 9 September at Hastings. 

Purchased for A$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).

At the same sale, Ellis also purchased Group One winner and Champion Two-Year-Old Sword of State (Snitzel), now serving his second season at Cambridge Stud. 

“Wasn’t it a fabulous win? She’s the talk of the town and it was an incredible performance breaking her own track record,” Ellis said. 

“It’s brilliant for the owners, who were there in numbers to support her, our assistant trainer over there Ben Gleeson in Melbourne, Mark & Sam, and Reece (Trumper), Nicole (Shailer), and the whole team that have looked after her from day one. 

“It makes Karyn and me very proud to have had such a great start to the Cranbourne stable, and it’s great for the New Zealand racing industry.

“We’re well represented, with last night at Moonee Valley, Rubicon Crossing on Saturday at Mornington, as well as Hastings, Riccarton, and Singapore.”

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 has added the McEwen Stakes (Gr. 2, 1000m) and Moir Stakes (Gr. 1, 1000 metres) in two starts this season. 

She 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 six Group One races.



Scoring her sixth Group One win, Imperatriz moved into the realms of former stable-mates Probabeel (Savabeel) who won her four Group Ones in Australia, while crowned dual New Zealand Horse of the Year, Avantage (Fastnet Rock), the winner of nine Group One races, and another dual New Zealand Horse of the Year, Melody Belle (Commands), who surpassed Sunline (Desert Sun) with 14 Group One wins to become NZ record-holder.

In the following race, Walker also produced Zourion (Zoustar) fresh-up in the $200,000 Scarborough Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) for three-year-old fillies. A debut winner before stylishly winning the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) last season, Zourion was dictated by the outside draw (10) to get back and from last she ran home well for sixth while looking as though a step up in distance would suit. 

“Zourion didn’t have a lot of luck in running, being badly squeezed up at the top of the straight but she still ran the third fastest last 600m and appears set for a good spring,” Walker said.


Imperatriz was strapped by Jason Levin.


Photo credit - Moonee Valley Racing Club 


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