Imperialist (NZ) Makes Big Impression in Phoenix

9 June 2024

Classy colt Imperialist (NZ) (Churchill) took his promising career to a new level with victory in Saturday’s A$160,000 Listed The Phoenix (1500m) at Eagle Farm.

Imperialist (NZ)
Race Image:Ross Stevenson

It was the first win from three starts for Imperialist, who was a $170,000 purchase by Chris Waller Racing and Mulcaster Bloodstock from Book 1 of Karaka 2023. He has earned A$97,225 in stakes, with much more still in store.

Bred and sold by Curraghmore’s Gordon Cunningham in partnership with Arkle Bloodstock, Imperialist finished eighth over 1100 metres on debut on May 1 and followed that up with a fourth over 1400 metres on May 15. Trainer Chris Waller saw enough in those performances to step up to stakes level for Saturday’s Phoenix, and Imperialist rose to the occasion.

After settling well back in the 14-horse field for jockey James McDonald, Imperialist changed gears and showed a quality turn of foot in the straight to reel in the leaders and score by half a length.

“He’s a nice, progressive horse and he did a good job out there today,” McDonald said. “He’s still pretty new and did a few things wrong, but he’ll be right.”

Waller is not ruling out a shot at next Saturday’s Group One JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m).

“James did a great job to weave a path through the field after getting him to settle in the first half of the race, and the horse did the rest in the second half,” he said.

“Part of the reason why we bring them up here to Queensland is they have a trip away and we see how they cope with the experience, the pressure and how they perform under that type of situation. He’s just a two-year-old and he has got a bright future.

“It wasn’t a ‘must-be’ plan to go to the JJ Atkins, but on the strength of that win today and depending on the opinion of some form people, we would have to consider it.”

Imperialist became the third graduate of Karaka 2023 to win a two-year-old stakes race in Australia this season. Linebacker (NZ) (Super Seth) heads that list with a victory in the Group Three Baillieu Stakes (1400m) and second placing in the Group One Champagne Stakes (1600m), while Beau Dazzler (NZ) (Ardrossan) has also scored at stakes level.

Vendor Curraghmore
Purchaser Chris Waller Racing/Mulcaster Bloodstock (New South Wales)
Breeding Churchill – Dancing Hare
Sale Lot 128, Karaka 2023 Book 1, $170,000
Bred by Arkle Bloodstock & G R Cunningham


Race Image : Ross Stevenson