The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Mark Walker’s brilliant sprint star Imperatriz just keeps on winning with the classy mare claiming her fifth consecutive victory when saluting for the punters in Saturday’s 2023 Champions Sprint results at Flemington.
The five-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible came into the Group 1 $3 million Darley Champions Sprint (1200m) having won her past four on the trot all at The Valley including three elite level races.
Her latest was in the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes on Cox Plate Day by an easy 3.25 length winning margin that had her short favourite to handle her first assignment at headquarters.
She was an easing favourite in betting and went around just over odds-on at time of jump with Opie Bosson continuing associations.
Bosson gave the eventual winner a perfectly-timed ride chiming in at the right time to join the front-running Front Page 200m out from the line.
The challengers came with the Matthew Smith-trained Buenos Noches and James Cummings’ dual Group 1 winner at the track In Secret trying to chase down the top elect.
Imperatriz however dug deep and proved her champion status going on to win in style to get Group 1 racing underway on Stakes Day.
“She’s a real darling. To have a horse like this,” Bosson told Racing.com after the win.
“It is a dream come true riding a horse like this.”
Bosson also credited the brave performance by the mare believing he may have got in front a touch early down that long and imposing straight.
“I was expecting Asfoora to slot forward but he took a hold. So, I used Front Page as my bunny. Probably got there a bit soon. Geez, it’s a long way up that straight,” he said.
“To her credit she knuckled down and put her ears back.
“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.”
Buenos Noches ($14) was brave finishing a half-length second on the back of his eighth in Sydney’s $20 million The Everest last month.
“He ran really, really bravely, a great second. The winner was too good on the day. He put his hand up and showed he is one of the better sprinters around,” jockey Blake Shinn said of the runner-up.
In Secret ($3.50) for Godolphin also lost few admirers running just over a length off the winner in third to complete the trifecta in another gutsy performance by the mare.
“She’s run extremely well. She tried her heart out. She gave her all,” her rider James McDonald said.
There could be a potential overseas campaign for Imperatriz next year with Royal Ascot one option for the mare that just doesn’t know how to lose.
“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,” Bosson said.
2023 Champions Sprint Results & Finishing Order
|1||8||IMPERATRIZ||Mark Walker||Opie Bosson||8||56.5kg||$2.15F|
|2||2||BUENOS NOCHES||Matthew Smith||Blake Shinn||0.5L||11||58.5kg||$14|
|3||7||IN SECRET||James Cummings||James McDonald||1.25L||5||56.5kg||$3.50|
|4||9||ESPIONA||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||2L||3||56.5kg||$26|
|5||6||BELLA NIPOTINA||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Craig Williams||2.1L||1||56.5kg||$12|
|6||1||FRONT PAGE||Matthew Dale||Tyler Schiller||5.1L||7||58.5kg||$21|
|7||11||C’EST MAGIQUE||Grahame Begg||Michael Dee||5.85L||2||56.5kg||$151|
|8||5||AIRMAN||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jye McNeil||6.05L||10||58.5kg||$26|
|9||10||ASFOORA||Henry Dwyer||Mitchell Aitken||7.3L||9||56.5kg||$16|
|10||3||LOFTY STRIKE||Julius Sandhu||Damien Oliver||9.05L||4||58.5kg||$61|
|11||4||STAR PATROL||Clinton McDonald||Ben Melham||11.05L||6||58.5kg||$20|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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