Imperial Rome looks ready to rule
Imperial Rome has taken time to find his legs, but looks to have turned the corner following a gear change in March and a gelding operation, and expectations will be running high for a dazzling performance when he next steps out.
The Irish-bred four-year-old turned in another positive showing in the Longchamp Racecourse Handicap (1,200m) at the Valley on Wednesday night after putting the writing on the wall three starts back with a thundering fifth behind Fresh Air over the same course and distance. Weichong Marwing was again on board for his latest Class Three assignment and Imperial Rome was well in the market at $77 behind $31 favourite Red Lucky Star.
Imperial Rome was part of some crowding soon after the break from gate seven, bumped with First In Command at the 600 metres, had to steady when disappointed for a run inside Master Rio at the top of the straight, peeled to the outside of that runner at the 150m and finished full of running to be an unlucky 1?length fourth to Bould Mover.
He clocked 23.19 for the final 400m split on a track that had been favouring speed for the most part on the evening.
Imperial Rome made a sound impression in six outings in Ireland under trainer David Wachman with three wins - two on the polytrack.
Imperial Rome is by Danehill stallion Holy Roman Emperor, a winner of four races from 1,200m to 1,400m, who has dished up some nice success stories at Happy Valley with the likes of Legendary Dragon, three-for-three over 1,200m; Charles The Great, a sprint winner and three-times placed; and four-time winner Mr Award.
His dam, Revoque mare Ripalong, was unplaced from five starts, but has produced two other foals to race, including Shamwari Lodge, a Hawk Wing filly who is a winner of six races from 1,200m to a mile, and Shamardal Phantom, a filly by staying winner Shamardal. Ripalong is also a half-sister to smart sprinter Pipalong, who was a champion older mare in Europe in 2001.