|She’s the world’s most successful Group One winner in 2023 and she’s Australasia’s champion sprinter. Imperatriz is pure magic!|
|With a fifth straight win, a sixth Group One victory for the calendar year and a sizzling Group One straight race debut success Imperatriz knocked down any doubts about her abilities.|
Despite being left in front on the grandstand side some distance from the finish the super mare, affectionately known as Berri, knuckled down late when the challengers came from her inside.
Trainer Mark Walker was super proud of the performance of the stable’s champion sprinter, a $360,000 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale buy for Te Akau’s David Ellis.
“She’s a real star and did the whole of New Zealand proud today,” trainer Mark Walker said from the winning enclosure.
“Probably a little bit of relief more than anything. Great to see Opie on the big stage as well!”
“Ben (Gleeson) and the team did a fantastic job. I went home after the Manikato and Ben has assembled a great team that we’ve got at Cranbourne and days like this, it makes it all worthwhile.”
“Opie sums things up so quickly from the jump. He’s been on the big stage since he was a teenager and nothing really fazes him. It was great to get the win today.”
Walker remains pleased that connections didn’t get lured to Sydney for the rich The Everest and instead put the welfare of the horse first as she hunted Group Ones south of the Murray.
“It was more about wanting her to get used to the surroundings at Cranbourne and also we do think she’s a little better left handed. It is hard to argue with her right handed record and I think we did the right thing.”
Walker said he would sit down with connections over the next couple of weeks before working out the future plan for Imperatriz.
“You dream of days like this,” Walker added. “There’s a lot that goes in to these days from the ground up.”
If Mark Walker was the proudest man in the mounting yard, winning rider Opie Bosson wasn’t far behind.
“She’s a real darling,” a beaming Bossom reported. “To have a horse like this in the twilight of my career.”
“Te Akau, David Ellis, Mark Walker and the whole team. It is a dream come true riding a horse like this.”
“I was expecting Asfoora to slot forward but he took a hold (on her). So I used Front Page as my bunny.”
“(We) probably got there a bit soon. Geez its a long way up that straight! You don’t realise how long it is when you’re left there in front and you can hear them coming.”
“To her credit she knuckled down and put her ears back and had a crack.”
“We always knew she was really talented. She’s just getting better with age and she is the real deal and she has proven it now. Hopefully there is more to come for both of us.”
Bosson is one of those around Imperatriz who would relish the challenge to showcase their class on the international stage.
“I’d love to. I’d love a trip away. It’d be nice to get to Ascot and show them how good she is.”
The win also provided a milestone for trainer Mark Walker who notched his first elite Group One win at Flemington. Bosson was delighted to team up with his mate to achieve the feat.
“I’ve known Mark since he was 13-years-old and we’ve done a lot of work together. He’s an absolute champion to ride for,” Bosson added.
Imperatriz has been an incredible performer for her syndicate, the Te Akau Invincible Empress Racing Partnership, managed by David Ellis’ wife Karyn Fenton-Ellis.
Today was her eighth Group One win – four achieved in New Zealand and now four in Australia. Her six Group One wins in 2023 has her two clear of any other horse on the planet at the elite level with the likes of Auguste Rodin, Kay Army and Paddington on four.
She is a daughter of Yarraman Park’s champion resident sire I Am Invincible and is from the group performed Shamardal mare Berimbau.
As well as Imperatriz, Berimbau is the dam of the Sydney winner Cabaca. Her latest yearling – a colt by Capitalist will follow in Imperatriz’s hoofsteps when he heads to the 2024 Gold Coast Yearling Sale as Lot 477 in the Bhima Thoroughbreds draft.
Breeding: I Am Invincible-Berimbau (Shamardal)
Breeder: Raffles Dancers (NZ) Pty Ltd
Race: VRC Champions Sprint G1 (1200m)
Sold for: $360,000
Sale: 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
Vendor: Bhima T’breds (As Agent)
Buyer: DC Ellis
Owners: Te Akau Invincible Empress Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM)
Trainer: Mark Walker (Cranbourne)