Imperatriz Defends Title in 2024 William Reid Stakes

March 23, 2024

Imperatriz Defends Title in 2024 William Reid Stakes

Imperatriz made history celebrating her 10th Group 1 when going back-to-back for the punters in the 2024 William Reid Stakes results at The Valley.

2024 William Reid Stakes winner Imperatriz

2024 William Reid Stakes winner Imperatriz successfully defended her title to take her Group 1 wins into double figures. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

Mark Walker’s brilliant New Zealander bounced back from her second with the 58kg topweight in Flemington’s Newmarket Handicap last start when returning to her pet Moonee Valley circuit in the Group 1 $1 million William Reid Stakes (1200m).

At weight-for-age at a course she is yet to taste defeat at, the bonny I Am Invincible five-year-old went around as the deserving short-priced favourite in the William Reid that took place in daylight hours for the first time in many years.

Jockey Opie Bosson gave the mare a perfectly-timed ride settling midfield three-deep allowing Hypothetical to do the work up front in the lead.

She was fifth four off the leader approaching the turn before moving up swiftly at the top of the straight to go to the front in the blink of an eye a furlong out.

Rank outsider Johnny Rocker ($71) put on a great show chasing hard to challenge for what would have been a boilover for trainer Nick Ryan, but in the end the cream rose to the top and Imperatriz ($1.70F) took her Group 1 victories into double figures.

“It’s a bit of a relief really. I wish all Group 1 races were run here,” Walker told Racing.com after Imperatriz took her Moonee Valley record up to five-from-five.

“She got into a nice spot, and we haven’t had much luck today on the fence today with our other runners, so I knew we’d be out from the draw.”

In third rounding out the trifecta was the Ciaron Maher-trained I Am Me ($6.50) a further two lengths back.

Imperatriz became the seventh dual William Reid Stakes winner and the fifth sprinter to complete the Black Caviar Lightning – William Reid double in the same year.

“I’m glad she came out there and won the way she did,” Bosson said.

“I got off her that day (in the Newmarket) and said to Mark that she’ll be hard to beat at weight-for-age in any race from now on.”

Apache Cat (2008-09) was the last back-to-back William Reid Stakes winner prior to Imperatriz, while Black Caviar won on non-successive years in 2011 and 2013.

For Bosson it was his 98th Group 1 success and counting with more to come from his number one ride, Imperatriz, this season.

2024 William Reid Stakes Results & Finishing Order

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 5 IMPERATRIZ Mark Walker Opie Bosson 9 56.5kg $1.70F
2 4 JOHNNY ROCKER Nick Ryan Rhys McLeod 0.2L 10 58.5kg $71
3 7 I AM ME Ciaron Maher Ben Melham 2.2L 2 56.5kg $6.50
4 6 BELLA NIPOTINA Ciaron Maher John Allen 2.3L 3 56.5kg $5
5 2 THE INFERNO Cliff Brown Jake Noonan 3.3L 7 58.5kg $101
6 9 HYPOTHETICAL Anthony & Sam Freedman Michael Dee 3.7L 5 56.5kg $21
7 3 QUEMAN Shane & Cassie Oxlade Harry Coffey 4.2L 4 58.5kg $31
8 8 QUEEN OF THE BALL Michael Freedman Billy Egan 6.2L 6 56.5kg $101
9 1 THE ASTROLOGIST Leon & Troy Corstens Declan Bates 6.5L 8 58.5kg $51
10 10 CYLINDER James Cummings Beau Mertens 6.6L 1 56kg $9
11 KING’S GAMBIT Peter & Paul Snowden Jamie Mott 0

Table Credit: Racing Australia.


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