‘Instant speed': Imperatriz goes like a Ferrari

Date: 29 Sep 2023

‘Instant speed': Imperatriz goes like a Ferrari

By Gilbert Gardiner @ Racenet

Imperatriz's acceleration is like nothing champion New Zealand jockey Opie Bosson has experienced on horseback before – "instant speed".

A "bubbling" sensation is a cue to launch the $1.65 favourite with TAB in Friday night's Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley.

Her explosive turn of foot put Rothfire and The Everest winner Giga Kick to the sword last start in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at The Valley in track record time.

"It's pretty much like when you put your foot down in a Ferrari, or something like that, and you get instant speed," Bosson said.

"You feel her bubbling up underneath you and when you put your foot down, she's there."

Bosson was on the tarmac, ready for takeoff from Hastings, NZ, after a Saturday race meeting when a another passenger yelled out Imperatriz had won the McEwen under stand-in jockey and Kiwi expat Michael Dee.

Bosson watched the replay upon landing and alighted from the plane gobsmacked.

"I didn't think she'd win like that," Bosson said.

"We were worried about Giga Kick, he's a great horse, but I said to Mick she's got the best turn of foot I've ever ridden on a horse and I said wait until it kicks in.

"It's a great feeling and he rang back that night and said, ‘Whoa! You're not wrong'."

Bosson hopes to experience the same feeling on Friday night aboard the short-priced favourite although a second run at 1000m, short of her preferred distance, is a slight query.

Uncommon James ($4.60), Asfoora ($6.50) and Rothfire ($8.50) spearhead the seven-horse Moir market outside Imperatriz, a five-time Group 1 winner including the William Reid Stakes at The Valley in March.

Mittys McEwen Stakes

Imperatriz was stunning in her McEwen Stakes victory. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty Images

Te Akau Racing superstar Imperatriz has won five of her past six starts, the defeat in early March when touched off in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes by Artorius.

Bosson was not surprised by the first-up performance, having worked the mare in NZ before she arrived at Te Akau's new Cranbourne satellite stable last month for the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

"I actually said to Mark, the way she's coming up, I think she's better (again)," Bosson said.

"She's got no niggles or anything like that, like what she had in the past. She's a very happy horse and coming up really well.

"Mark has really worked her out and the best way to work her, it's the first time she's had no real niggles this campaign, she seems happy and free in her action."

Bosson has ridden Imperatriz nine times for seven wins, including four at the highest level.

"She's definitely the best (sprinter) in New Zealand, Australia is a different gravy, the way she's going is the right way, but Australian sprinters are a lot better than our ones," Bosson said.

"We're proud of her first up run and hopefully she can keep kicking the goals."

Another win on Friday night would stir available The Everest slot-holders in a frenzy and put Imperatriz alongside European star Paddington as the leading worldwide Group 1 winner in 2023 with four top-class successes.

Te Akau, committed to a Melbourne campaign, has so far declined The Everest offers.

Bosson is set to ride Te Akay's Group 1 Tarzino Trophy winner Skew Wiff next Saturday at Flemington in the Group 2 Rose Of Kingston Stakes.




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