Six Win Saturday - No.3 Imperatriz Group 3 Honours

Date: 23 Oct 2021

Six Win Saturday - No.3 Imperatriz Group 3 Honours


Despite drawing wide (10), Imperatriz  (3 f I Am Invincible - Berimbau, by Shamardal) made it four wins from five starts with a terrific effort in $80,000 Matamata Veterinary Services Soliloquy Stakes (Gr. 3, 1400m) on Saturday at Matamata.


Imperatriz won the Eclipse Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) on 1 January at Ellerslie, making it two from two in her juvenile season. She resumed beating stable-mate I Wish I Win (Savabeel) in Northland Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) on 4 September at Te Rapa, and given time (35 days) by trainer Jamie Richards since close third in Gold Trail Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) on 18 September at Hastings.

While the draw dictated getting back, rearing at the start was not planned. Fortunately, rider Danielle Johnson was able to improve four back inner on a solid pace, angled out nearing the home turn and, true to her class, Imperatriz finished powerfully to win. It was quite a colossal performance.

On Dead4 footing, Imperatriz ran 1400 metres in 1:22.6 on Dead4 footing and shortened on the NZ TAB tote to pay $3.10 & $1.50.

Adding to the spoils, stable-mates Belle En Rouge (Burgundy) and The Perfect Pink (Savabeel) also finished strongly for third and fourth respectively. Stepping in class following a three-length Maiden win at Taupo, Belle En Rouge got close along the rail, while The Perfect Pink, eye-catching in victory last time out at Cambridge, made up plenty of ground from back in field.

“The team is starting to come right now, after a wet, cold spring and the tracks have taken a long time to come right too,” Richards said. “I feel like we're getting there now and the stable has had a great day.

“Imperatriz missed the kick, but we were planning to ride her patiently from the draw and it worked out well.

“Danielle did a very good job being able to find clear air when she needed it. She sprinted quickly and was able to sustain the gallop.

“She'd been a little while between runs, so I think her fitness is there to improve further and it was a really good win.

“It was good to see her stay the seven furlongs (1400m) and I guess we'll have to look at Riccarton now and the 1000 Guineas, but we'll see how she comes through this first.

“The Perfect Pink ran well, hitting the line strongly and a lovely filly for the future, and Belle En Rouge was great as well, getting some black type by finishing third.”

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM 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).

Following the win, Imperatriz shortened to second favourite ($3.80) for the 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) on Saturday 13 November at Riccarton. Stable-mates Synchronize (Savabeel) at $8.00, Belle En Rouge (Burgundy) at $14.00, and Irish Red (Burgundy) and The Perfect Pink (Savabeel) at $18.00 are also within the top 10 favoured runners in the fillies feature.

“It doesn't get much more exciting than that with two stakes' wins inside half an hour,” Ellis said. “Winning with a filly that looks a strong chance in the 1000 Guineas, and a very valuable colt (Noverre) that's favourite for the 2000 Guineas, it's a special thrill for all the owners and all our team.

“Imperatriz was the last filly to sell that year and I sold the last share to the Chairman of the Waikato Racing Club, John Elstob and his partner, Denise. And they're in Noverre too, so they've had a top day.”

“We have a great group of owners in both horses, and I'm thrilled for the who team at Matamata. Everyone is working very, very hard.

“We've just needed the tracks to come right and invariably at this time each October the weather improves, with warmer temperatures, and the tracks are just beautiful.

“Graeme Styles is such a good track manager at Matamata, and with his team they produce first-class facilities that we have to train on.

“He's a great communicator and works with the trainers to make sure we get the best training tracks to work on. They are first-class facilities, really. The club has a really good committee and Graeme and his staff put everything into it.”

Imperatriz is by Champion Australian Sire I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit), out of Group 2 placed Berimbau, with dam-sire Shamardal (Giant's Causeway) leaving 46 Group 1 winners worldwide before passing away last year.

Imperatriz was strapped by Hunter Durrant.


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