Te Akau Season - Stakes' Win 9 of 30 - Australia No.2

Date: 9 Jul 2024

Te Akau Season - Stakes' Win 9 of 30 - Australia No.2

July sees the final month of our phenomenal 2023/24 racing season.  

As we like to do at this time of the year, we now reflect every day on our Group/Listed performers of the 'season that was' - and there were plenty!  In fact 30 across New Zealand and Australia, with nine at Group 1 level.

Te Akau's Australian operation at Cranbourne contributed a total of nine Group races (5 at Group 1 level) to the season tally - Champion mare Imperatriz claimed the first - and then repeated the feat with the second, remaining unbeaten at Moonee Valley (and yet another track record, breaking her own set at her previous race) ...

Imperatriz (5 m I Am Invincible – Berimbau, by Shamardal) produced another scintillating track record performance in the A$750,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (Gr. 1, 1000 metres) to nab her sixth Group One victory on 29 September at Moonee Valley.

The star sprinting mare in Australasia, Imperatriz took an immediate liking to the Strath Ayr surface when winning the A$1 million William Reid Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) in March and two further victories has resulted in a hat-trick on the course. 

She beat the previous 1000-metre track record of 56.84 when clocking 56.68 in her fresh-up course/distance victory in the McEwen Stakes (Gr. 2, 1000m) on 9 September, and now lowered that to 56.47.

In a similarly run affair to the McEwen, where she circled from last and cleared out to win by two and half lengths, Imperatriz chased a hot pace in seventh position before whistling home in quite unbelievable fashion to snaffle the leader 50m out and win drawing away by one and a quarter lengths.

It was the 92nd Group One victory for stable rider Opie Bosson and continued a whirlwind start to the season for new training partners Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson.

“It was a great tactical ride of Opie’s and the mare is absolutely flying,” Walker said. 

“She won two Group Ones over a mile as a three-year-old, and is now showing her incredible versatility against the very best sprinters in Australasia.”

Purchased for A$360,000 by David Ellis CNZM at the Gold Coast Yearling Sale 2020, from the draft of Bhima Thoroughbreds, Imperatriz is owned by the Te Akau Invincible Empress Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

At the same sale, Ellis also purchased Group One winner and Champion Two-Year-Old Sword of State (Snitzel), now serving his second season at Cambridge Stud. 

“Wasn’t it a fabulous win? She’s the talk of the town and it was an incredible performance breaking her own track record,” said Ellis.

The victory continued an unbelievable form-line, which saw her win more Group One races (6) in 2023 than any other horse in the world, on the way to capturing 10 Group One wins among a total 19 race wins from just 27 starts. She earned nearly NZ$7.6 million in prize money, finally selling when retired in May this year for A$6.6 million, becoming the highest priced filly or mare ever sold in the Southern Hemisphere.

For the lucky syndicate owners, they turned $360,000 into more than $14.5 million.


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