Imperatriz was ridden like the best horse in the $1m Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) and duly saluted on Friday night at The Valley.
Champion New Zealand jockey Opie Bosson nestled the Mark Walker-trained mare in a lovely stalking position, three wide out of trouble midfield behind a hot tempo, to set up the triumph under lights.
Bella Nipotina, Roch ‘N’ Horse and September Run rounded out a Group 1 mares’ first four.
Following the race meeting, Nash Rawiller (September Run) and Bosson were suspended for 12 and 11 meetings respectively for separate incidents during the race.
“There was a lot of pressure, I got back probably a couple of spots further than I wanted to but I ended up getting a nice drag into the race and she done the rest really,” Bosson said of the $3.60 TAB favourite.
“I sensed her (Bella Nipotina), I gave her a couple behind the saddle and those ears pinned back and she gave again.
“She’s just got an amazing turn of foot. She can get herself out of trouble and she can run out a strong 1400m so 1200m wasn’t going to be too much of a problem.”
In what could be an omen for the Kiwi connection, Walker and Bosson combine with Campionessa in Saturday’s Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington.
Earlier on the card, Sirileo Miss bolted in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) by five and-a-half lengths from Revolutionary Miss and Deny Knowledge.
Brave Mead won the Listed Valley Pearl (1200m) easily to emerge as contender for the Group 1 Sires’ Produce Stakes on Saturday week in Sydney.
Apprentice jockey Celine Gaudray secured a double under lights with Unflinching claiming the 55 Second Challenge Final (955).
While Mutinous was unplaced on Friday night, his time (54.93 sec) from heat seven last December stood up as the series’ fastest mark to deliver Enver Jusufovic the $55,000 trainer’s bonus.
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