Imperatriz scouted for Ascot
Royal Ascot scouts have identified Kiwi star Imperatriz as a top target for the Summer Carnival after the mare won another Group One title.
Imperatriz fended off the challenge of Everest hopefuls Buenos Noches and In Secret to win a fifth straight win and an eighth Group One race in the Champions Sprint at Flemington during the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival.
Director of Racing for Royal Ascot, Nick Smith travelled from the Breeders Cup meeting in the US to watch Imperatriz and a number of other sprint contenders who could compete in the King Stand Stakes or Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes over 1000 and 1200m respectively.
"She goes straight to the top of the list," Smith said.
"It's really exciting because she's a New Zealand-owned and trained mare.
"She's really exciting and looks a reasonably straightforward horse."
Smith said that the winning nature of Imperatriz, who has won 17 of 23 starts, is the exact formula Royal Ascot runners need to be a winner at the festival.
"She's showing a lot of consistency and that's what you want with travelling horses," Smith said.
"A lot of the horses that have one good run and jump on the plane aren't as successful.
"But you know she's the best horse and she suits all sorts of circumstances.
"If she maintains her form, as most Australian sprinters do, she'll go to the top of the market."
Smith also highlighted the fact that Imperatriz was a winner in New Zealand over 1600m and that flexibility gave a lot of options at Royal Ascot for the Kiwi galloper.