Imperatriz Ready to Shine in Sydney

Date: 3 Apr 2024

Imperatriz Ready to Shine in Sydney reports:

Star New Zealand mare Imperatriz will be kept to her pre-race routine in Melbourne before travelling to Sydney for the opening day of The Championships.

The Mark Walker-trained mare will have her last piece of work at Cranbourne on Tuesday before being floated to Sydney on Thursday night to run in the $3m, Group 1 T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday. 

Imperatriz is aiming for a sixth Group 1 win this season in the T J Smith, having already taken the Moir Stakes, Manikato Stakes and William Reid Stakes – all at Moonee Valley – along with the Champions Sprint and the Lightning Stakes at Flemington. 

Ben Gleeson, Walker's assistant trainer at Cranbourne, said Imperatriz had come through her victory in the William Reid Stakes at her last start in excellent shape. 

She went to the beach on Friday morning, did some light exercise on Saturday and will have a more strenuous gallop on Tuesday. 

Gleeson said it was unlikely Imperatriz would gallop the reverse way at Cranbourne on Tuesday. 

"She's had plenty of gallops the reverse way in New Zealand and went to Sydney last year, so we don't need to remind her of anything," Gleeson said. 

"She's well-travelled. She'll adjust easily." 

Gleeson said the stable was looking forward to seeing Imperatriz again in Sydney. 

At her only start in Sydney, Imperatriz was beaten by Artorius in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick in March last year before winning seven of her next eight starts, six at the highest level. 

And Gleeson said any wet weather would not deter Imperatriz. 

"We're as confident with her as ever," Gleeson said. 

"We know that our horse is spot on and in as good a form as we've had her. 

"There is a bit of rain around, but she has won on wet tracks, she's won a Group 1 on a heavy so that doesn't faze us." 

"As long as the week ahead goes smoothly, we're excited for the race." 

Imperatriz heads the betting on the T J Smith at $2.80 from last year's winner I Wish I Win at $3.50.


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