Kiwi Star to Face Six Rivals

Date: 25 Oct 2023

Kiwi Star to Face Six Rivals reports (Getty Images picture):


Kiwi star Imperatriz took a stranglehold on betting for Saturday's Group 1 Manikato Stakes after the Moonee ValleyRacing Club declared a field of seven for the $2 million sprint.

Imperatriz has been dominant in her two spring runs at The Valley, easily beating a field that included last year's Everest winner Giga Kick in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes before running down Asfoora to win the Group 1 Moir Stakes.

Asfoora and third-placed Uncommon James showed the strength of that form when the pair was the first two home in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield.

TAB posted Imperatriz at $1.45 to take her winning streak to four at The Valley and send her earnings past $3.4m with her 16th victory from 22 starts.

Imperatriz drew barrier four but jockey Opie Bosson is likely to allow the mare to race off the pace before producing her customary acceleration in the last 400m.

Imperatriz worked over 1000m at The Valley with jockey Mick Dee in the saddle on Tuesday morning.

The daughter of I Am Invincible worked with handy stablemate Rubicon Crossing. The pair clocked 24.19sec for the last 400m of her gallop, pleasing Dee with the ease of her gallop.

Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes

Imperatriz will shoot for her fourth straight win at The Valley when she tackles the Manikato Stakes. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty Images

"I pretty much didn't have to ask her but she really extended," Dee said.

"She's done the work so, so easily.  She pulled up like she hasn't even gone around. She's very fit."

Sydney sprinter Buenos Noches, who finished eighth in The Everest earlier this month, is the $6 second favourite ahead of I Am Me, the winner of the $2m Sydney Stakes at Randwick on October 14, at $6.50.

Oakleigh Plate winner Uncommon James is at $8.

Trainers Steven O'Dea and Matt Hoysted removed the blinkers from Uncommon James after conceding they made a mistake in using the headgear on the sprinter in the Schillaci Stakes.

Uncommon James worked alone with regular rider Damian Lane in the saddle.

The Brisbane sprinter cruised home his last 400m in 25.66sec, working well within himself.

"He's at peak fitness now and we're not going to get him any fitter," Hoysted said.

"He's as good as he can be."

Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m)

No - Horse - Trainer - Jockey - Barrier - Weight

1 - THE INFERNO - Cliff Brown - Jake Noonan - 3 - 58.5kg

2 - BUENOS NOCHES - Matthew Smith - Blake Shinn - 5 - 58.5kg

3 - UNCOMMON JAMES - Steven O'Dea & Matthew Hoysted - Damian Lane - 2 - 58.5kg

4 - JIGSAW - Cindy Alderson - Daniel Moor - 7 - 58.5kg

5 - I AM WAR - Trevor J Andrews - Not notified - 1 - 58.5kg

6 - IMPERATRIZ - Mark Walker - Opie Bosson - 4 - 56.5kg

7 - I AM ME - Ciaron Maher and David Eustace - 6 - 56.5kh


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