Imperatriz in full flight at The Valley

Retired star Imperatriz’s special connection to The Valley

It takes something special to earn the title of ‘Queen of The Valley’. 

Imperatriz's achievements at The Valley over a 12-month period were truly remarkable, and the news from Te Akau Racing of her retirement from racing provides an opportunity to look back on this significant chapter. 

Trained by Mark Walker, Imperatriz left an indelible mark at The Valley, holding a perfect record from five starts at the track. 

Already a four-time winner at the highest level in New Zealand, Imperatriz’s first run at The Valley came under lights in March 2023, in the 3 Point Motors Group 1 William Reid Stakes. 

Ridden by Opie Bosson, the mare claimed the $1 million sprint by a length over Bella Nipotina. 

Sent for a spell following the victory, she made her return in the spring at The Valley, lining up in the Group 2 Mittys McEwen Stakes, where she took on fellow highly rated sprinter Giga Kick over a 1000m. 

Imperatriz delivered a blistering performance, surging from the tail of the field to defeat Rothfire and Giga Kick, breaking the 1000m track record on her way to a 2 ½-length victory. 

The track record would stand for less than three weeks, when, in front of a packed crowd at the AFL Grand Final Eve meeting at The Valley, Imperatriz beat her own mark by 0.21 when recording a time of 56.47 for the 1000m in a stunning display in the Group 1 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes.

The following month, she became the first horse to complete The Valley’s Group 1 sprint Triple Crown in a calendar year, leading all the way in the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes, holding a margin of 3 ¼ lengths over the rest of the field. 

In what would be her swansong at The Valley, Imperatriz returned in the autumn to defend her crown in the 3 Point Motors William Reid Stakes. 

“We can’t wait to get her back to her favourite track and back around a bend,” assistant trainer Ben Gleeson said in the lead-up to the race. 

Despite a tough run, her class and will to win was once again there for all to see, recording her 10th victory at Group 1 level, while also claiming The Valley’s sprint Triple Crown in a racing season. 

A daughter by I Am Invincible out of Berimbau, Imperatriz was purchased for $360,000 at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

The star sprinter finishes her racing career with an imposing record of 27 starts for 19 wins and four minor placings and $6,969,799 in prizemoney.

She also provided five unforgettable moments at The Valley. 


24 March 2023 – 1st 3 Point Motors William Reid Stakes 1200m (Group 1) $1,000,000

9 September 2023 - 1st Mittys McEwen Stakes 1000m (Group 2) $300,000 TRACK RECORD

29 September 2023 - 1st Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes 1000m (Group 1) $750,000 TRACK RECORD

28 October 2023 – 1st Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes 1200m (Group 1) $2,000,000

23 March 2024 – 1st 3 Point Motors William Reid Stakes 1200m (Group 1) $1,000,000