Imperium Wins Fresh-Up

Impressing with a fresh-up win yesterday was the Pencarrow Stud-bred Imperium (Encosta de Lago x Ethereal) in the $7,000 The Clubhouse Café & Sports Bar 1600 at Te Rapa Racecourse.

Racing in Te Akau’s colours for trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards, this is Imperium’s second win, after winning his last start in the autumn over 2100m. Debuting as a three-year-old last season, he has had six starts and placed third on two occasions over 1400m and 1600m.

“It was a very good effort,” commented Autridge. “He resumed over a mile which we thought could have been a bit short for him but he ran home strongly. It was a brave effort up the straight and it was a good ride by Matthew Cameron.

“He has come through the race very well and we are looking forward to bigger and better things with him. We are looking at running him next at Hawke’s Bay on 3 October in a Rating 75 over 2000m.”

Commencing the race from the widest barrier for jockey Matthew Cameron, Imperium settled towards the rear of the field in the early stages. Travelling one wide, he quickened at the 700m to dash around the outside of the field, hitting the front at the top of the straight.

Ranging up inside 150m, O’Ceirins Whisper (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) challenged the son of Encosta de Lago, but Imperium held on to his lead, gaining a narrow victory by a head over O’Ceirins Whisper and race-favourite Dontbreakmyheart (NZ) (Guillotine) in third.

Imperium is owned by David Ellis’ Te Akau 2013 Breeding Syndicate after Ellis purchased him at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2013 Karaka Premier Sale for $425,000 from Pencarrow Stud.

The son of Encosta de Lago was bred by Sir Peter Vela and Philip Vela and is out of Champion staying mare Ethereal (Rhythm), winner of four Group 1 races, including the Group 1 Melbourne Cup.

The four-year-old gelding is a full-brother to Duquesa (Encosta de Lago), third placed in the Group 3 Manawatu Cup, and is also a half-brother to Uberalles (Giant’s Causeway), third placed in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby.

Ethereal had a filly foal in 2014, by the late Champion sire O’Reilly.