Imperatriz and Amelia's Jewel could be the two best mares in Australia
Racegoers will get the chance to see two of Australia’s best horses this Friday night at The Valley for the Ladbrokes Friday Night Lights Season Launch.
Simon Miller’s superstar mare Amelia’s Jewel looks set to start a deep odds-on favourite in the Ladbrokes Stocks Stakes, while Te Akau’s five-time Group 1 winning sprinter Imperatriz will be looking to add to that tally in the Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes.
Both are coming off impressive first up wins, and both are only new to Victorian racing. Amelia’s Jewel was an effortless winner of the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington last start and Imperatriz set The Valley alight with a track record performance in the Group 2 Mittys McEwen Stakes, easily handling some of our top sprinters Giga Kick and Rothfire.
While Simon Miller was originally from Melbourne, the now Western Australian trainer joked that he had been dealt the visitor’s draw yet again this Friday night, taking to social media to express his dismay. Amelia’s Jewel drew barrier 14 of 14 last start at Flemington and will jump from 10 of 11 this week in the 1600-metre mares’ feature.
They might need more than a wide barrier draw to beat her though. The daughter of French stallion Siyouni could arguably be unbeaten from 10 starts, winning eight of them and unlucky in a Burgess Queen and a Quokka. The WA wonder mare displayed her exemplary turn of foot last start at Flemington and will be looking to loop the field and win again, this time on the tighter Moonee Valley circuit.
She’s likely to be giving two of her main opposition this Friday night a big head start in the run, Deny Knowledge and Pride Of Jenni, but Miller says the two speed influences could actually enhance her chances.
“When she gets into a fast tempo race you’ll see her at her best, because she can absorb pressure and quicken.”
The Group 1 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes is one of only two 1000-metre Group 1 races on the calendar, and headlining this year’s edition is New Zealand’s best horse Imperatriz. The daughter of I Am Invincible stopped the clock at 56.68 seconds in Mittys McEwen Stakes last start, shaving an incredible 0.16 off the previous fastest time.
It was Victorian Assistant Trainer Ben Gleeson’s first winner for Te Akau, and the nature of the victory stunned him, as it did race caller Matt Hill who too was lost for words – a rare occurrence.
“The way she zipped past him (Giga Kick), I was literally shellshocked, but also extremely excited by the fact she did that first up.
“We still have three more assignments ahead of us, so hopefully she can reproduce that.”
Those three assignments will be Friday night, followed by the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes on Cox Plate Day and the Champions Sprint on the final day of the Flemington carnival. If successful in all three, she would take her Group 1 tally to eight.
The planned preparation comes as a surprise to some, given the New Zealand-based camp are turning down slot holders in the $20 million Everest, but they say keeping her the Melbourne way of going and picking off more Group 1 races is more important to them than potential prizemoney gains.