Imperatriz Group 2 Perfect

Date: 27 Aug 2022

Imperatriz Group 2 Perfect


Presented in magnificent order, Imperatriz (4 m I Am Invincible - Berimbau, by Shamardal) destroyed her rivals in the $120,000 Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate (Gr. 2, 1200m) on Saturday at Te Rapa.


Winning her last five in a row, including the Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m), and NZ Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m) at Te Rapa, Imperatriz had resumed with a strong winning performance in the Open 1100 metres on 6 August at Ruakaka.

Suited by the weight-for-age scale, carrying 56.5kg with Opie Bosson aboard, Imperatriz was handily placed with cover before taking over on straightening and showed an incredible turn of foot to clear out by five and three-quarter lengths.

“She was a different horse today to the one at Ruakaka,” Bosson said. “As soon as she got on the track she was on the job and I could tell she was pumped up underneath me.

“Across the top all I wanted to do was let her go, she was going that good and when I released the brakes, man she can go.

“It felt like we were on a good track, that's how quick she went, and I can't wait until she gets on better ground and I can hold her up for a bit longer. She could be even more explosive.”

Bosson also looked to have come through the race in good shape, after working hard to make the weight.

“Thanks to Dave (Ellis) and our trainer out at Te Akau,” he said. “I've been there every day since last Sunday, been in the gym at 6:30 each morning and training really hard. The hard work has paid off.”

Remaining unbeaten on the course, Imperatriz ran noticeably quicker than any other horse on the day, clocking 1:13.8 for 1200 metres, last 600m in 35.9, and drifted in betting, paying $2.20 & $1.30 on the NZ TAB tote.

Never further back than fourth, when chasing home a Te Akau trifecta in the 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) last season, Imperatriz has since been unstoppable and now won nine of 12 starts.

“She's one right out of the box and quite special,” said trainer Mark Walker, celebrating his first stakes' winner for the season and levelling up atop the Premiership with 11 wins in August.

“It's good to have Opie back riding on big days like this.

“It's been a tough winter for preparing horses and especially for the staff. Full credit to the whole team because it's not easy through the winter months. Everyone's out there early; it's wet, it's cold, so credit to them, and onwards and upwards.”

Rather than tackling the Foxbridge fresh-up, Walker had given Imperatriz and outing - and win - to Ruakaka, in order to harden her for the second-up assignment.

“If you could predict the track, and it was going to be heavy, you don't want to hurt them first-up, because in two weeks you've got travel to Hawkes Bay, so it was more about that (giving her the run at Ruakaka),” Walker said.

“She galloped brilliantly on Tuesday and I said to Sam Bergerson (assistant trainer), I think we're ready and won't have to gallop her on Thursday, but when the track turns up like that (Heavy10) you do second-guess yourself a bit. But, we got it right.

“You just hope with horses like these that every run they're having is at Group level. It's not easy on them, but she's a high-class mare.”

Imperatriz is now $1.80 for the $300,000 Tarzino Trophy (Gr. 1, 1400m) on Saturday 10 September at Hastings.

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM at the Gold Coast Yearling Sale 2020, from the draft of Bhima Thoroughbreds, owned by Te Akau Invincible Empress Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Imperatriz lives up to the 'empress' title from which her name translates.

“I love winning races here at Te Rapa,” said Ellis, who had also bought recent Foxbridge Plate winners Melody Belle (Commands) and Avantage (Fastnet Rock), winners of 23 Group One races between them.

“Under Butch Castle's management and John Elstob's chairmanship, the club is in great hands and despite all the recent rain it would be hard to find a better surface to race on. Imperatriz is a top mare, but went considerably faster than other 1200-metre races on the day and, boy, she really did sprint when Opie let her go.

“It's great to see Waikato Stud supporting the whole day, which is quite remarkable. They have been Champion Breeder nine times and continue to breed horses that give people the thrill of a lifetime.

Speaking on behalf of Waikato Stud, Mark Chittick said: “It's great to see the spring horses venturing out and I think we've seen today what will be the start of a wonderful season for Imperatriz, Opie Bosson, Mark Walker, and Te Akau.

“Te Akau is an incredible team, led by David and Karyn, do a great job and often get rewarded with fantastic results like this.”

A nominee for Champion Three-Year-Old, Imperatriz is among a winning hand for Te Akau in the coveted three-year-old prize, with Belle En Rouge (Burgundy) and Self Obsession (Shocking), who tied for New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year, Sword of State (Snitzel), about to embark on a stallion career at Cambridge Stud, Noverre who is about to also embark on a stud career at Waikato Stud and 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) winner The Perfect Pink (Savabeel).

Imperatriz has now recorded two victories at Group One, Two, and Three, levels, and as Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM pointed out, she was the last yearling share to sell in her year and you just never know where the next champion lies.

The Foxbridge Plate is named after Champion Stallion Foxbridge (Foxlaw), 11-time Leading Sire 1941-51 inclusive) in New Zealand.

Imperatriz was strapped by Laura Macnab.

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