I Am Invincible filly Imperatriz showed her class and promise with a superb victory in the $100,000 Group 2 Barneswood Farm Eclipse Stakes 2YO SW over 1200m on New Year’s Day 2021.
A notable winner on debut, this juvenile filly claimed valuable Group honours at only her second start – and in race record time – when piloted by Danielle Johnson.
After a lay off due to a minor set back, this classy filly resumed in the $80,000 Group 3 Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders’ Stakes over 12o0m held at Te Rapa in September 2021. She was very impressive when winning in the hands of Danielle Johnson (a stable quinella with I Wish I Win) and maintaining her unbeaten record.
In September 2021 Imperatriz finished third in the $80,000 Group 3 Hawkes Bay Breeders’ Gold Trail Stakes for 3YO fillies over 1200m with Danielle Johnson aboard in a race where not much went her way.
Everything also didn’t go to plan either at her next start in October 2021. Imperatriz reared up in the gates as they opened for the $80,000 Group 3 MVS Soliloquy Stakes 3YOF SW 1400m staged at Matamata due to Ellerslie being subject to Level 3 lockdown. She was drawn wide and the plan was to ride her quietly anyway – fortunately she recovered quickly, laying down the gauntlet as they turned for home and she went on to win her third Group race comfortably for Danielle Johnson.
On 13 November 2021 she was again slow away in the $300,000 Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas 1600m but she flew home with outstanding sectionals to finish fourth for Danielle Johnson – in what was a stable first four.
On Karaka Million night in January 2022, Imperatriz was game chasing home stablemate Sword of State in the $110,000 Group 3 Cambridge Stud Almanzor Trophy 3YO SW+P 1200m in the hands of Michael McNab.
In February 2022 Imperatriz blitzed the field in the $40,000 Lisa Chittick Plate F&M SW+P 1400m again ridden by Michael McNab. She also earned a $20,000 NZB Insurance Pearl Series Bonus in the process.
In March 2022 Imperatriz travelled to Trentham as favourite for the $260,000 Group 1 Wellington Seamarket Levin Classic over 1600m – she duly obliged in the hands of Michael McNab. She beat stablemates On The Bubbles, I Wish I Win and Mohawk Brave.
An auspicious day for Te Akau at Trentham on 19 March – with five stakes’ races programmed, Te Akau won three of them (including the two Group 1 races), and was runner up in the other two – in fact delivering a first four home in the Group 1 Levin Classic (just as the stable did in the Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas in November 2021) and a quinella in the Group 1 NZ Oaks – with stablemates Belle En Rouge and Self Obsession tying for NZB Filly of the Year honours.
In April 2022, Imperatriz became only the second 3YO filly in 35 years to win the $220,000 Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes WFA F&M over 1600m (staged at Te Rapa) with Opie Bosson in the saddle. It was the second Group 1 win for the filly this season and also the second Group 1 win for trainer Mark Walker since he assumed the helm at Te Akau Racing on 1 April 2022.
Cruising home to win by five lengths, a race record winning margin, this margin places Imperatriz at fourth on the table of all time Group 1 New Zealand winning margins. The David Ellis purchased, and also Te Akau trained, Xtravagant takes out the top two slots with his 8.5 and 8 length victories in the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guinea and Group 1 BCD Waikato Sprint.
Imperatriz started her 4YO campaign just as she concluded her 3YO season – in winning fashion. She contrasted the Kerikeri Cup with 60kgs on her back on 6 August 2022 resuming – notching up her fourth consecutive win.
Getting into the serious part of the early season, she lined up as hot favourite in the $120,000 Group 2 Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate on 27 August at Te Rapa and blitzed her opposition by 5.8 lengths, despite the Heavy10 track conditions. Te Akau stable rider Opie Bosson once again in the saddle.
A setback saw Imperatriz off the scene after the Hawkes’ Bay Spring Carnival but she bounced back to her very best in style – fresh up into the $300,000 Group 1 Sistema Railway 1200m she was sublime. Ridden to perfection by Te Akau stable rider Opie Bosson, he timed his ride to the minute to claim the mare’s third Group 1 victory – Te Akau’s third consecutive Railway success – on New Year’s Day 2023.
Second up she stepped out on Karaka Million night 2023 and was an impressive top weight winner of the $180,000 Group 2 Westbury Classic F&M SW+P 1400m in the hands of Opie Bosson.
Imperatriz continued her scintillating 4YO form, claiming her fourth Group 1 title – the $300,000 Group 1 BCD Group Sprint WFA 1400m at Te Rapa on 11 February 2023. Again a gun ride by Opie Bosson, to overcome the distracting attention of a riderless horse – she was simply too good for arguably the best sprint opposition seen in New Zealand for some time. Her margin of 4.5 lengths telling the story, and in a time just a tick outside the race record.
That victory saw Imperatriz head to Sydney, Australia to contest the A$600,000 Group 1 Canterbury Stakes at Royal Randwick on 4 March 2023, with James McDonald in the saddle. Sent out the hot favourite, the race looked to be hers but then Artorious grew wings and flew down the outside and she had to settle for second, beaten only a neck.
Trained by Te Akau and raced by the Te Akau Invincible Empress Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), she was purchased by David Ellis CNZM from the Magic Millions’ Gold Coast January Sale for A$360,000.
She has raced 18 times for 12 wins and five placings, earning $1,185,032 in prize money.