Horse Racing News: Imperatriz heading back to New Zealand

Imperatriz’s season is now over but don’t expect to hear David Ellis now ramping up a campaign for her to be crowned Australia’s Champion Racehorse for the 2023/24 season.

The five-year-old finished fourth in last Saturday’s T J Smith Stakes at Randwick won by Chain Of Lightning, her only unplaced run in a season that netted five Group 1 wins, which took her career Group 1 tally to 10.

Imperatriz on Monday flies home to New Zealand, where she will spell before returning to Cranbourne later in the year, and while Ellis thinks being crowned Australian Horse Of The Year would be a fitting accolade, she does not need to title to justify a successful first Australian season for Te Akau.

“I don’t get involved in judging her with other stables but we’re just so incredible proud,” Te Akau principal Ellis said.

“What a great way to start our Cranbourne stable, with a horse that’s rated the second best in the world, the best sprinter in the world, and we’re just very proud to have been able to buy her.”

A $360,000 Magic Millions Gold Cost yearling, the Mark Walker-trained daughter of I Am Invincible is one of the leading contenders for the Horse Of The Year award, with Cups double champion Without A Fight shaping as her biggest rival.

Two-time Group 1 winner and All-Star Mile heroine Pride Of Jenni gets the chance to further press her claims in this Saturday’s $5 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick.

The T J Smith Stakes was the fourth run in a campaign that realised Group 1 wins in the Black Caviar Lightning and William Reid Stakes and a game Newmarket Handicap second placing under 58kg.

Imperatriz was undefeated in a spring campaign that started with Group 2 success in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes before Group 1 wins in the Moir Stakes, Manikato Stakes and Champions Sprint.

The T J Smith Stakes, in which Imperatriz sweated up badly pre-race and was a victim of interference in the run, was her first run in Sydney for the season and Ellis said it did not provide a true guide on whether she can replicate her Melbourne form in Sydney.

For that reason, the $20 million The Everest – a race she bypassed in spring to remain in Victoria – remains an option later in the year.

“It was a very hard race for us to get a guide, she was held up quite a bit, but we were very proud of her.

“We’ll have everything open for next season.”

Latest news
Related news