Imperatriz Home for R&R

Date: 8 Apr 2024

Imperatriz Home for R&R

NZ Racing News reports:

Imperatriz’s (I Am Invincible) season is now over but don’t expect to hear David Ellis now ramping up a campaign for her to be crowned Australia’s Champion Racehorse for the 2023/24 season.

The five-year-old finished fourth in last Saturday’s Gr.1 T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick won by Chain Of Lightning (Fighting Sun), her only unplaced run in a season that netted five Group One wins, which took her career Group One tally to 10.

Imperatriz on Monday flies home to New Zealand, where she will spell before returning to Cranbourne later in the year, and while Ellis thinks being crowned Australian Horse Of The Year would be a fitting accolade, she does not need to title to justify a successful first Australian season for Te Akau.

“I don’t get involved in judging her with other stables but we’re just so incredible proud,” Te Akau principal Ellis said.

“What a great way to start our Cranbourne stable, with a horse that’s rated the second best in the world, the best sprinter in the world, and we’re just very proud to have been able to buy her.”

A $360,000 Magic Millions Gold Cost yearling, the Mark Walker-trained daughter of I Am Invincible is one of the leading contenders for the Horse Of The Year award, with Cups double champion Without A Fight (Teofilo) shaping as her biggest rival.

Two-time Group One winner and All-Star Mile heroine Pride Of Jenni (Pride Of Dubai) gets the chance to further press her claims in this Saturday’s $5 million Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.

The T J Smith Stakes was the fourth run in a campaign that realised Group One wins in the Gr.1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) and Gr.1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) and a game Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) second placing under 58kg.

Imperatriz was undefeated in a spring campaign that started with Group Two success in the Gr.2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) before Group One wins in the Gr.1 Moir Stakes (1000m), Gr.1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and Gr.1 Champions Sprint (1200m).

The T J Smith Stakes, in which Imperatriz sweated up badly pre-race and was a victim of interference in the run, was her first run in Sydney for the season and Ellis said it did not provide a true guide on whether she can replicate her Melbourne form in Sydney.

For that reason, the $20 million The Everest – a race she bypassed in spring to remain in Victoria – remains an option later in the year.

“It was a very hard race for us to get a guide, she was held up quite a bit, but we were very proud of her.

“We’ll have everything open for next season.”


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