Imperatriz was purchased by Yulong for A$6.6 million at Magic Millions' National Broodmare Sale on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.  Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Imperatriz sells for A$6.6 million

29 May 2024

Australasia’s darling of the turf, Imperatriz, has found a new home after selling for a record A$6.6 million to Yulong at Magic Millions' National Broodmare Sale on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.

The 10-time Group One winning daughter of I Am Invincible was offered for sale by Te Akau Racing after she was recently retired following a glittering racetrack career where at her peak she was rated the world’s best sprinter and world’s best mare.

With her sale, Imperatriz became the highest priced filly or mare ever sold in the Southern Hemisphere as well as bringing the highest price in the Gold Coast sale ring in history.

Yulong’s Vin Cox said the opportunity to buy such an incredible racehorse and valuable breeding prospect was too much to ignore.

“These are rare commodities,” Cox said. “A 10-time Group One winner, they’re elite and they don’t give Group One races away at any level, in any country, in any jurisdiction.

“You know you had to dig deep coming here and I think she made well and truly enough money. Congratulations to Te Akau Racing and David (Ellis) and Karyn (Fenton-Ellis).

“They bought her here on the Gold Coast, raced her in New Zealand and then proved her here in Australia. Full credit to them. We had to dig deep to get her.

“Mr Zhao (friend of Yulong’s Mr Zhang), he was bidding online so we did the inspections, we went over and had a look at her last week and had dinner with David and Karyn.

“We liked her, obviously, and sent through all the reports, and this is where we’ve ended up.”

Cox said a decision as to which stallion Imperatriz would visit had yet to be made.

“No, you don’t really think about that until you have her in your back pocket. You never write your speech before the race, so we certainly weren’t making plans around intentions until we owned her,” Cox said.

Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis was thrilled with the result, a full circle moment after he purchased the champion as a yearling from the Gold Coast for $360,000.

“It is really exciting for the whole Te Akau team,” Ellis said. “For all the staff that have done such an incredible job looking after her, placing her in the right races, managing her, for the owners, we’re just so thrilled and happy for them all.

“It is great to see such a wonderful mare go to such a good home. Yulong came to the farm and inspected her, and it is great to see that Mr Zhang has got her.

“To break the (Australasian and Southern Hemisphere) record for the top price for a mare is really exciting. We bought her here and a few lots later we bought (Group One winner) Sword Of State and they finished up racing in Group races against each other.

“The whole thing has been a great thrill for the owners and all the staff. Also for Mark Walker who has trained her for the the past two seasons. They have done a wonderful job.”

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