Imperatriz Impeccable - Te Akau's Trentham Group 1 Double

Date: 20 Mar 2022

Imperatriz Impeccable - Te Akau's Trentham Group 1 Double


Electrifying last time out, Imperatriz (3 f I Am Invincible - Berimbau, by Shamardal) led home another Te Akau first four in the $260,000 Wellington Seamarket Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m) on Oaks Day (19 March) at Trentham.


Following a devastating five length win, running the fastest 600m on the day (34.1), in the Lisa Chittick Plate (1400m) on 26 February at Matamata, jockey Michael McNab said: “I've never ridden one like that before. That was just a gallop and I didn't even have to push her. Wow that was impressive.”

Sentiments like that, combined with her Eclipse Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) win as two-year-old, Group 3 wins in Northland Breeders' Stakes and Soliloquy Stakes, a fourth in 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m), and a winning record of five from eight, saw her trimmed up to pay $1.90.

Able to position perfectly in fourth, on a sedate tempo, Imperatriz cruised up to level mid-straight and a flick of the wrist by McNab had her quicken to gain the winning advantage.

“She went bang, said I've got this, and put them away easy,” said commentator Tony Lee.

Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) and Sires' Produce Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m) winner On The Bubbles (Brazen Beau) took a while to clear traffic before finishing strongly for second. Last early, I Wish I Win (Savabeel) quickened well near the rail for third, and newcomer to the grade Mohawk Brave (Extreme Choice) did well for fourth.

Last November the stable also achieved first four in 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) at Riccarton, won by The Perfect Pink (Savabeel), in which Imperatriz finished fourth.

Reiterating his previous comments, McNab said: “She's an absolute weapon of a horse. She jumped, put herself there, and travelled.

“I thought, I can't go too soon because she's suspect at a mile. But, I knew where Parksy (Johnathan Parkes aboard On The Bubbles) was, so I couldn't let him out too soon either. When she went, she went, she wasn't stopping.”

On Dead4 footing, Imperatriz ran 1600 metres in 1:36.2.

“She was able to hold her spot from a good barrier (4) and they didn't go quick, not a truly run mile, which probably suits her and she was able to use her turn of foot,” said trainer Jamie Richards, registering his 52ndGroup 1 victory.

“She was brilliant. She's a very good filly and I'm very proud of her.

“On The Bubbles was held up a little bit but was always susceptible to her turn of foot. She's lightning, whereas he needs a bit more time to warm into it. He's loses no admirers and ran another great race.

“I Wish I Win bombed the start and then over raced and it would have been very interesting had he stepped away and raced in first four or five, but he's done a great job to run third.”

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

After winning last time out at Matamata, Ellis served warning that Imperatriz would be competitive in Group 1 races from here on in, and so it proved.

“I'm pleased she's vindicated my comments,” Ellis said. “She has always been such a gifted and top-class filly and it just seemed a matter of time before she could win a Group 1.

“I was at the Magic Millions sale with Mark Walker and we bought her together. I'm pretty sure she's the 81stGroup 1 winner that I've bought. It's a massive thrill for the owners, which include my wife Karyn, and a great training performance by Jamie to bag the first four.

“It's also a super effort from all the staff. We've had quite a few off sick, but everyone stepped up and worked so hard to get the jobs done. Karyn and I are very proud of them all. We're fortunate to have an incredible team at the farm and the stables.

“It's amazing really, because she was the last filly to sell that year and I sold the last share to the Chairman of the Waikato Racing Club, John Elstob and his partner, Denise. We've got a great bunch of owners in her and right from the outset of her racing career it's been obvious how talented she is.

“I'm thrilled for Michael (McNab) too. He rides a lot for Te Akau, he rode the horses in work on Tuesday morning and he's in a really good space. He's a big part of the success and he's a beautiful rider, while we're also pleased that Opie (Bosson) is over Covid and he'll be back riding tomorrow at Tauranga.”

Following consecutive Levin Classic wins with Hall of Fame (Savabeel) and Age of Fire (Fastnet Rock) in 2017 & 2018, respectively, Imperatriz became third winner of the race for Te Akau.

Imperatriz was strapped by Amit Gujar.


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