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Imperatriz shoots for four straight

3 minute read

Imperatriz will be attempting to maintain a perfect Moonee Valley record when she lines up in the Manikato Stakes.

IMPERATRIZ. Picture: Colin Bull / Sportpix

A fourth win at Moonee Valley beckons for Imperatriz when the mare faces six rivals in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes

Saturday's 1200m sprint will be the fourth consecutive run at the track for Imperatriz who started the ball rolling with victory in the Group 1 Williams Reid Stakes (1200m) in March. 

This campaign Imperatriz has returned to claim the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) first-up with a new Strathayr track record which she lowered second-up when taking out the Group 1 Moir Stakes on September 29. 

Trainer Mark Walker and Te Akau Racing resisted the temptation of heading to Sydney for The Everest to concentrate on Saturday's sprint and the Group 1 Champions Sprint (1200m) at Flemington on November 11. 

Imperatriz drew barrier 4 in Saturday's field of seven and was posted the $1.45 favourite once the barriers were drawn. 

Walker took Imperatriz to Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning for a 'maintenance' gallop at Break With The Best and liked what he saw from the mare. 

"It was a morning out for her and to get away from Cranbourne," Walker said. 

"She knows The Valley quite well and the track is in outstanding order as well. 

"She's ready to go. It was maintenance work really. Touch wood, everything has gone really well. I'm looking forward to Saturday." 

The field maybe small but it does have quality with the opposition including Uncommon James, I Am Me and Buenos Noches engaged. 

While Imperatriz may be an odds-on favourite, Walker is not getting too far ahead of himself and is respectful of all runners in Saturday's race. 

"They don't give away Group 1's, especially in Australia," he said. 

With four weeks between outings, Walker also took the opportunity of giving Imperatriz a look at the Flemington straight track ahead of the Champions Sprint. 

"I wanted to give her a look at that track as she had never done that before, especially with the Champions Sprint in mind two weeks later on," Walker said. 

"Because there was a month between runs, we were able to do that and two little trips away will have her right up to the mark on Saturday." 

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