Imperatriz Super Impressive in Group 3

Date: 4 Sep 2021

Imperatriz Super Impressive in Group 3


The form was impeccable, the prep trials impressive, the price short ($1.60), and Imperatriz (3 f I Am Invincible - Berimbau, by Shamardal) encompassed those factors with an outstanding fresh-up victory in the $80,000 Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) on Saturday at Te Rapa.

As a two-year-old, Imperatriz won both her starts, including the Eclipse Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) on 1 January at Ellerslie, in arguably the strongest two-year-old field assembled to date, and as the season progressed her Eclipse victory was made to look even more special.

Mainly, as stable-mate Sword of State (Snitzel) finished third in the Eclipse before going on to win the Waikato Stud Slipper (Gr. 3, 1200m) and Sistema Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m), providing some of the strongest two-year-old form last season in New Zealand.

Pushed up to take a handy position, before trailing stable-mate I Wish I Win (Savabeel) on the outer, Imperatriz responded to the urgings of rider Danielle Johnson inside the final furlong to gain his measure. It was a strong quinella for the stable, by the two public elects.

On Dead6 footing, Imperatriz ran the 1200 metres in 1:11.5, and pleased trainer Jamie Richards with the manner of victory.

“It was a good tough win and she's a filly we've got a lot of time for,” he said. “She was held up for a time after her two wins as a two-year-old, but she's come back in good order and everything has gone according to plan. She came back in and trialled well a couple of times and did some nice work at home.

“She was given a lovely ride by Danielle (Johnson), who ended up in the perfect spot, and the filly pinned her ears back and had a go. The second horse, I Wish I Win, is also very good.

“It's great to be back racing and I'm really happy with the way the team is going. Hunter Durrant is running the Uni Barn, where Imperatriz is stabled, with Laura McNab as his assistant, and they're doing a great job.”

While the form of Imperatriz was excellent, so to was that of I Wish I Win. A smart winner on debut, he stepped up at just his second start finishing runner-up to stable-mate On the Bubbles (Brazen Beau) in the Sires' Produce Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m), a horse winning his fourth race, after already having won the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m).

Last season, Need I Say More (No Nay Never) became the first stakes' winner for the stable when winning the Northland Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) at Te Rapa, and Imperatriz is now the second this season after Probabeel (Savabeel) won the W.W. Cockram Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) a week earlier at Caulfield, Melbourne.

While Te Akau has won many stakes' races numerous times in New Zealand, Imperatriz provided the third Northland Breeders' Stakes, after Need I Say More in 2020 and Heroic Valour (Fastnet Rock) in 2016.

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM for A$360,000 in January at Gold Coast Yearling Sale 2020, from the draft of Bhima Thoroughbreds, Imperatriz, which translates in English to ‘Empress', is owned by Te Akau Invincible Empress Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

By Champion Australian Sire I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit), out of Group 2 placed Berimbau, her dam-sire, Shamardal (Giant's Causeway), has left 45 Group 1 winners worldwide.

“It's a big thrill because she was the final yearling to sell last year and she's turned out to be a beauty,” Ellis said.

“I Wish I Win, he's a very good horse and Imperatriz had to be at her best to pick him up in the straight.

“It's always a thrill to win stakes races at Te Rapa, and to quinella it just adds to the excitement. John Elstob, the chairman at the Waikato Racing Club, and his partner Denise, have a major shareholding in the filly and they put so much into racing. Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) also has a share, so we'll all be celebrating.

“She's got a lot of ahead of her, Imperatriz. Opie (Bosson) sometimes rides her work and thinks she's top-class, while Danielle (Johnson) is unbeaten in three rides on the filly and her strike rate (4.1) when riding in the tangerine is just exordinary.”

Imperatriz was strapped by Hunter Durrant.


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