Australian punters will get their first look at Kiwi sprinter Imperatriz when she lines-up in the Gr.1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The Mark Walker-trained mare has been in imposing form in her homeland, winning all three of her starts this preparation, including the Gr.1 Railway (1200m), Gr.1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m), and Gr.2 Westbury Classic (1400m).
Walker was particularly pleased with her last start victory in the BCD Group Sprint and is hopeful she can transfer her form across the Tasman.
“She was very impressive that day and the loose horse in the race made it very interesting, but she came through that run very well,” Walker told RSN.
“It is her first trip to Australia so it is always hard weighing up form, especially over the sprinting distances, but I think she is a genuine player.”
Kiwi sprinters have had plenty of success in Melbourne over the last year, and while Walker said they considered the Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) with their mare, they thought the Canterbury Stakes would be a better fit.
“We put a lot of thought into the Newmarket but having won four Group Ones at home we thought she would be weighted up to her very highest, and we felt that weight-for-age was the way to go and this race fitted in nicely,” he said.
TAB bookmakers are confident she can continue her winning ways in Australia, installing her a dominant $1.90 favourite in the race ahead of Golden Mile ($6) and Artorius ($6.50).
– NZ Racing Desk