A special season

Written by Richard Edmunds The Thoroughbred Report (TTR)

Bhima had plenty to celebrate during the 2022/23 season, with 13 individual stakes wins by its graduates including eight at Group 1 level – along with a triumph in The Everest with Giga Kick (Scissor Kick).

“We’ve had a pretty good season,” Fleming said. “It’s always so rewarding seeing our graduates come out and prove themselves as Group 1 horses and stakes winners, and really put their hands up on the track. Hopefully next season can be as strong again.

“Giga Kick was obviously a real highlight, with his amazing win in The Everest, followed by the Group 1 wins in the All Aged S. and Doomben 10,000 later in the season.

“He didn’t go through any sale and was foaled at Arrowfield, but he was reared here before he was broken in. It’s been quite amazing to watch what he’s gone on to do on the racetrack.”

Another multiple Group 1-winning sprint star is the Kiwi mare Imperatriz (I Am Invincible), who was bred by Raffles Dancers. Bhima offered her at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, where Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis secured her for $360,000.

Imperatriz has now earned more than $1.7 million from her 19-start, 13-win career. She had a dominant summer on home soil during her 2022/23 season, winning the G1 Railway S., G1 BCD Group Sprint and G2 Westbury Classic. She then brought that elite form across the Tasman, winning the G1 William Reid S. and running a close second behind Artorius in the G1 Canterbury S.

“She came across to Australia in the autumn and really put her hand up with a Group 1 win in Melbourne,” Fleming said. “I think Te Akau opening up a stable in Melbourne this spring is a really exciting development. It’s going to be huge for David Ellis, the Te Akau team and their owners to have a base over here to target the prizemoney and big races that we’ve got here.

Imperatriz winning the G1 William Reid S. | Image courtesy of The Image Is Everything

Gallery: Multiple Group 1-winning sprint star Imperatriz is a Bhima Graduate

“You’d think that Imperatriz would be a strong candidate to come over to be part of that stable, so it’s going to be exciting to follow her progress.”

But Bhima’s success was not limited to the sprint trips. They also celebrated a triumph in the G1 Victoria Derby at Flemington in the spring with Manzoice (Almanzor {Fr}). He was a $340,000 purchase by Waller Racing and Mulcaster Bloodstock at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

“That was such a great result for his breeder, Stephanie Hole, who doesn’t breed all that many horses every year,” Fleming said. “We foaled him here, then he went over to Wentwood Grange in New Zealand before coming back to us for his yearling preparation. So he had a bit of rearing on both sides of the Tasman.

“Wentwood have been very good clients of ours over a number of years, so it was very special to get that result for them and the breeder.

“Those Group 1 stars are probably the main highlights for us this season, but the really pleasing thing is that the success hasn’t been all about one client or one horse. It’s been shared through a number of different clients, with a broad base of horses that have stepped up to the mark and delivered fantastic results.

“It’s really great to see people who put so much work in rewarded by these sorts of results.”

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