Imperatriz, Mark Walker‘s champion mare, silenced critics with a powerful victory in the Black Caviar Lightning 2024, silencing doubts after a lacklustre trial.

Imperatriz wins 2024 Black Caviar Lightning

Imperatriz wins the 2024 Black Caviar Lightning as the odds-on favourite first-up at Flemington. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

This dominant win marks her ninth Group 1 victory and extends her winning streak to six races.

Despite a fifth-place finish in a recent Cranbourne trial, Imperatriz remained the clear favourite at $1.60 to kick off her autumn campaign down under with a win for the punters.

Trainer Walker defended her performance, stating, “Good horses save their best for race day.”

And save it she did. Jockey Opie Bosson orchestrated a masterful ride, leading from the start and holding off a fierce challenge from Joe Pride‘s Private Eye over the final few hundred metres.

Imperatriz showed true grit and class, proving her dominance in Australia’s fastest Group 1 race.

“Just a gun ride by Opie today,” Walker praised. “It was a really tactical affair, and he used the initiative.”

Chris Waller‘s The Invitation winner Espiona also impressed, finishing a strong third in her first 1000m attempt.

This victory continues Imperatriz’s remarkable run, adding to her spring triumphs in the Moir Stakes, Manikato Stakes, and Champions Sprint.

:She’s just a gem really to do it in the spring and come back and win like that,” Walker added.

“Full credit to the second horse. He’s a really good horse and he stuck it to her today so I think you saw two really good horses fight out an exciting finish.”

Next up for Imperatriz remains unclear, but a title defence in the $1 million Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) on March 23rd at Moonee Valley seems likely.

She is already the odds-on favourite at $1.80 through Ladbrokes to become the first horse since Apache Cat (2008-09) to win the William Reid Stakes consecutively.

2024 Black Caviar Lightning Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 4 IMPERATRIZ Mark Walker Opie Bosson 2 56.5kg $1.60F
2 1 PRIVATE EYE Joseph Pride Blake Shinn 0.2L 8 58.5kg $5
3 5 ESPIONA Chris Waller Michael Dee 0.7L 4 56.5kg $26
4 3 BELLA NIPOTINA Ciaron Maher Craig Williams 0.9L 6 56.5kg $12
5 6 RICH FORTUNE Jerome Hunter Mark Zahra 2.4L 1 56.5kg $151
6 7 CYLINDER James Cummings Damian Lane 2.5L 5 55.5kg $18
7 2 THE ASTROLOGIST Leon & Troy Corstens Luke Currie 4.25L 7 58.5kg $81
8 8 I AM UNSTOPPABLE Lloyd Kennewell & Lucy Yeomans Ms Jamie Kah 4.35L 3 55.5kg $6.50

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

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About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.