McEwen Win Imperative For Kiwi Mare

Date: 6 Sep 2023

McEwen Win Imperative For Kiwi Mare


Michael Dee piloted top mare Imperatriz during a track gallop at The Valley on Tuesday morning. Picture: Getty Images


Brad Waters @ Racenet Reports:

Beating The Everest winner Giga Kick will form part of a broader objective for top Kiwi mare Imperatriz in Saturday's Group 2 McEwen Stakes at The Valley.

Imperatriz boasts the imposing record of 13 wins from 19 starts, including Group 1 wins on both sides of the Tasman Sea, but the mare has another task in her latest trip to Australia.

Imperatriz will spearhead top New Zealand syndicator Te Akau Racing's push into the richer Australian market, which began when the organisation signed up for a Cranbourne stable earlier this year.

Ben Gleeson, formerly assistant trainer to Melbourne Cup-winning horseman Danny O'Brien, recently started the job of running Te Akau's Australian arm.

He said the organisation led by David Ellis and trainer Mark Walker is keen to grow its Australian market.

"We want to show the rest of Australia that we can keep the standard up over here," Gleeson said.

"We see that standard every time they bring a horse across but if we can put ourselves on the map straight away, it will open ourselves up to new ownership ventures.

"Mark and David want to grow the brand and get as many people involved as possible."

With any luck, Imperatriz would be unbeaten in Australia.

The mare went down narrowly to Artorius at her Australian debut in the Canterbury Stakes in Sydney before convincingly claiming the Group 1 William Reid Stakes at The Valley at her last start in March.

Gleeson said Imperatriz arrived at Cranbourne in top condition after two jumpouts in New Zealand while a gallop at The Valley on Tuesday morning reacquainted the five-year-old with the unique circuit.

"The boys sent her over pretty fit," Gleeson said.

"We're happy with her, she's settled in really well and did all she had to do this morning.

"She's loving it there at Cranbourne.

"She's always got her head out the window taking it all in as she's a very observant and smart horse."

Imperatriz has remained steady as the $3.50 second favourite in TAB's all-in market on the McEwen Stakes in which Giga Kick is the $1.80 favourite.

Mick Dee will ride Imperatriz in the McEwen Stakes while regular rider Opie Bosson is required in New Zealand on Saturday.


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