Last Updated on 12 December 2023
Imperatriz, the star mare who won six Group 1 races in 2023, has received lots of international interest and invitations. However, Te Akau Racing announced Flemington’s Champions Sprint winner will focus most of her efforts on Australian races next autumn and will target Group 1 sprints in Sydney and Melbourne.
Te Akau Principal David Ellis said that they “worked diligently through the various options” and decided to go with the ones that were the best for their “special mare.” Ellis stated that their “guiding principle” was to make decisions that would ensure the “well-being and longevity” of Imperatriz while maximising her chances of winning even more elite-level races.
Aiming for a Repeat of 2023
Imperatriz was brilliant in 2023 and won six Group 1 events – the William Reid, Manikato, and Moir at Mooney Valley, Te Rapa’s Railway and BCD Group Sprint, as well as the Champions Sprint at Flemington.
Ellis said that Imperatriz will start her autumn campaign at the Lightning Stakes and try to win the Group 1 William Reid Stakes back-to-back. She would then go to Royal Randwick to attack the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes before returning to Te Akau Stud.
Imperatriz won five of her last six starts, failing to win only at the Furphy Canterbury Stakes on 4 March when she lost only because eventual winner Artorius ran on very strongly in the final furlong.
That Sydney defeat preceded a remarkable return to Melbourne where she first won the Group 1 William Reid Stakes, triumphed in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes, and clinched three Group 1 wins on the trot – Moir, Manikato, and the Champions Sprint.
Despite deciding to focus solely on Australian races next autumn, Ellis and Te Akau Racing said they were “very humbled” by the support, interest and invitations Imperatriz had received. They also pointed to the warm welcomes the star mare got wherever she went as proof of how much she had endeared herself to the public.