New Year's Day - Group 1 Glory Imperatriz

Date: 2 Jan 2023

New Year's Day - Group 1 Glory Imperatriz

Four from four on the course and given a brilliant ride by Opie Bosson, Imperatriz (4 m I Am Invincible - Berimbau, by Shamardal) won the $300,000 Sistema Railway (Gr. 1, 1200m) on 1 January at Te Rapa - Te Akau's third successive Group 1 Railway success

Unbeaten in two starts as a two-year-old, Champion Three-Year-Old after Group One wins in the Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m) and NZ Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m), Imperatriz extended her record to 10 wins from 15 starts, and, following Avantage (Fastnet Rock) and Entriviere (Tavistock), made it a hat-trick of Railway wins for the stable. 

 Imperatriz was freshened following the Arrowfield Stud Plate (Gr. 1, 1600m) in October at Matamata, stretched out nicely for a close second in a trial on 23 December at Matamata, and the magic combo of trainer Mark Walker and Bosson, plus her own sheer ability, resulted in a memorable third Group One victory. 

 Drawn awkwardly in barrier 10, Imperatriz situated seventh on the outer, was five lengths off the leader at the 600m, but once into the clear at a timely moment on straightening, she kept finding to run down the gallant leader Babylon Berlin (All Too Hard). 

"It worked out perfectly," said Bosson, following his 88thGroup One win. 

"I got a beautiful spot. I was cruising turning in and didn't really have to spend a penny. But to Babylon Berlin's credit, she gave a good kick and I only just got her. 

"Mark and the whole team have done an amazing job. I was scratching my head a little bit after her trial and thought she wasn't quite 100 percent, but she'd taken so much benefit out of that and Mark (Walker) rang me during the week and said she's flying in her track work. So that gave me enough confidence."

On Good4 footing, Imperatriz ran 1200 metres in a slick 1:08.9, last 600m in 33.3, and paid $4.20 & $1.70 on the NZ TAB tote. 

"Her trial was on a wet track the other day and I just felt that back on top of the ground, and her great record here at Te Rapa, she'd show her class. Opie, there's no one like him in New Zealand in these big races and he just seems to get it right so many times," Walker said. 

"It was a gun ride and we are proud to see the mare back, as well. I thought she travelled well throughout and it helped to have something to chase down the whole way up the straight, so it's pretty satisfying. 

"I was amazed when I got back from Singapore, at the start (last April), we've got a great team of people and there are three or four people that would make great trainers in their own right and they will one day. 

"When you've got Dave (Ellis) buying them, it makes it easier as well. He heads to the Gold Coast next week [yearling sales] and I'm looking forward to seeing what he buys."

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM at the Gold Coast Yearling Sale 2020, from the draft of Bhima Thoroughbreds, and owned by Te Akau Invincible Empress Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Imperatriz lives up to the 'empress' title from which her name translates. 

"It's quite incredible, really," said Ellis, referring to Waikato Racing Club Chairman John Elstob who owns 25 percent. 

"John is the most fantastic guy you'd ever meet and with his partner Denise they race a lot of horses with us. 

"For us to win a Group One on the course he's Chairman of, it doesn't get better than that. It's really exciting."

Elstob said: "It's really special. That's the one I wanted. I wanted to win the Railway on my home track and it's probably the one chance I've ever got to do it.

"It's Mark's 14thstakes' win for the season, his second Group One, and he's just on fire. He's going so well. And class, like horses, like trainers, is the same," Ellis added. 

"You only get out of life what you put into it and he's working so hard."  

Imperatriz was strapped by Hunter Durrant.



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