It was back to business as usual for Jamie Richards and Te Akau Racing at Te Rapa on Saturday when they secured the quinella in the first feature race on the card, the Group III Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) with exciting I Am Invincible filly Imperatriz beating her stablemate I Wish I Win.

Both runners were having the first start in spring campaigns that have lofty goals attached to them, with unbeaten filly Imperatriz making it three wins in a row as she ground down I Wish I Win in the final 100m to score by a length.

Imperatriz had caused some concern as she made her way to the start, pig rooting on several occasions, however a quick adjustment to the saddle by rider Danielle Johnson had her back on an even keel as she justified some heavy support to take out her second win at stakes level having been successful in the Group II Eclipse Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.

On a surface officially rated as a Dead6, Imperatriz ran the 1200 metres in 1:11.5, and pleased Richards with the manner of victory.

“It was a good tough win and she’s a filly we’ve got a lot of time for,” he said.

“She was held up for a time after her two wins as a two-year-old, but she’s come back in good order and everything has gone according to plan. She came back in and trialled well a couple of times and did some nice work at home.

“She was given a lovely ride by Danielle, who ended up in the perfect spot, and pinned her ears back and had a go. The second horse, I Wish I Win, is also very good.

“It’s great to be back racing and I’m really happy with the way the team is going.”

Undefeated Imperatriz was bought for $360,000 at Magic Millions from the Bhima Thoroughbreds draft by David Ellis and was bred by Raffles Dancers Pty Ltd.

She is the second foal and first winner for Berimbau, a Group II placed Shamardal (USA) mare from the family of Group II winner Royal Courtship.

Yarraman Park’s champion sire I am Invincible is no stranger to success in New Zealand having sired Media Sensation to win the Group I New Zealand Thousand Guineas in 2018.

Racing Image Credit: Race Images – Kenton Wright