Imperatriz Charges to NZB Filly of the Year Series Lead

25 October 2021

Imperatriz now leads the 2021-22 NZB Filly of the Year Series after Leg 2. Photo: Race Images.

A spectacular performance in Saturday’s $80,000 Group Three Matamata Veterinary Services Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) has propelled quality filly Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) to the top of the points table for the 2021-22 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series. 

Trained by Jamie Richards, Imperatriz headed into Saturday’s second leg of the Series with 1.5 points to her name, courtesy of a third placing when favourite in the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings on September 18. That was the only time Imperatriz has ever tasted defeat, and she bounced back on Saturday in emphatic style.

The exciting filly made her own task more difficult by rearing at the start and then settling well back in the field, but she produced a scintillating turn of foot in the straight and swept to the lead under jockey Danielle Johnson.

Dubai Diva (Pride Of Dubai) and another Richards-trained runner in Belle En Rouge (NZ) (Burgundy) came back at her strongly over the concluding stages, but Imperatriz had enough up her sleeve to hold them out by a long head.

“Imperatriz missed the kick, but we were planning to ride her patiently from the draw and it worked out well,” Richards said.

“Danielle did a very good job being able to find clear air when she needed it. She sprinted quickly and was able to sustain the gallop.

“She’d been a little while between runs, so I think her fitness is there to improve further, and it was a really good win.

“It was good to see her stay the seven furlongs (1400m) and I guess we’ll have to look at Riccarton now and the New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m), but we’ll see how she comes through this first.”

A well-related daughter of a stakes-performed Shamardal mare, Imperatriz has now won four of her five starts for the Te Akau Invincible Empress Racing Partnership, earning over $165,000 in stakes.

Imperatriz won the Group Two Eclipse Stakes (1200m) as a two-year-old last season, beating subsequent Group One-winning stablemate Sword Of State (Snitzel), and she has added another two stakes wins this season in the Group Three Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) and Soliloquy Stakes.

Imperatriz earned 6 points for Saturday’s Soliloquy victory, lifting her to the lead with a total of 7.5. Dubai Diva collected 3 points and now shares third place on the table with Mustang Valley (NZ) (Vanbrugh), while Gold Trail Stakes winner Bellacontte (NZ) (Burgundy) is in second place with 6 points. Belle En Rouge joins the table with her first 1.5 points.

The third leg of the 2021-22 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series is one of the most crucial – the $300,000 Group One New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton Park on November 13, worth 12 points to the winner.