IN Racing
Headline act Imperatriz trials in fine style
Top-class mare Imperatriz will be given another trial outing before she heads to Melbourne to spearhead Te Akau Racing’s new stable at Cranbourne.
Paul Vetisse, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | August 02, 2023
Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Top-class mare Imperatriz will be given another trial outing before she heads to Melbourne to spearhead Te Akau Racing’s new stable at Cranbourne.

The multiple Group One winner impressed when winning her 900m open heat at Te Rapa on Tuesday as she prepares to chase further Australian honours to complement her outstanding home resume.

Imperatriz settled behind the leading bunch before improving wide near the turn and lengthened stride in the run home for regular rider Opie Bosson to score by a length and a-quarter.

“She trialled really well and went through her gears nicely and was really strong through the line,” said Sam Bergerson, who prepares the five-year-old with Mark Walker.

“Opie was really complimentary about her so we’re very happy with the way she is coming along at this stage.”

The dashing daughter of I Am Invincible has four elite level domestic victories to her credit and claimed the Gr.1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in the autumn off the back of a close second in the Gr.1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick.

“She’ll go to Taupo (August 23) for a Group and Listed trial, it’s not ideal being 1100m but there’s really nowhere else to go and it is quite a good surface there,” Bergerson said.

“All going well, she’ll head over to Melbourne and kicks off in the McEwen Stakes (Gr.2, 1000m) on September 9.

“The Manikato Stakes (Gr.1, 1200m) and the Champions’ Sprint (Gr.1, 1200m) are the big carrots, they are the two main goals for the spring.”

The stable has yet to lock in the supporting spring cast for Imperatriz at the Cranbourne complex, which can accommodate 20 horses and with room for further expansion.

Te Akau had a massive presence at Tuesday’s Te Rapa trials with upwards of 50 runners, including last season’s star two-year-old Tokyo Tycoon who was given a quiet day out when fifth in his 900m heat.

“We didn’t want to knock him around in his first trial back, especially as the ground was quite testing and cutting out a bit,” Bergerson said.

“He trialled really well and Opie kept a hold of him and he will trial again at Taupo as well.

“All going well, he’ll go to the first day of the Hawke’s Bay carnival for the Sir Colin Meads Trophy (Listed, 1200m).”

The son of Satono Aladdin won last season’s Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and he’s likely to be given the opportunity to double up in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), which now boasts an increased purse of $1.5 million.

Trobriand, a three-time juvenile winner and third in the Karaka Million, split Group One winners Pier and Legarto when runner-up in his 900m trial on Tuesday.

“He was obviously in a very sharp heat against the older horses, but he trialled well and he’ll be aimed toward the Northland Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.3, 1200m) on August 19,” Bergerson said.

The stable also dominated the 650m juvenile trials with Bellatrix Star and The Victress winning their heats while Cognoscenti and Unbridled Joy dead-heated for first.

Star Witness filly Bellatrix Star is likely to be the first to be seen out on race day.

“All going well, she’ll head to Wanganui for the first two-year-old race of the season, but that’s four weeks away so there’s a bit of water to go under the bridge yet,” Bergerson said.

bellatrix star Imperatriz Mark Walker Sam Bergerson Te Akau The Victress Tokyo Tycoon Trobriand