Here’s cheers to Esmee and her foals! Article by Tony McMahon
July 3, 2019
Paradis Imperial (stable named Esmee) the multiple record breaking filly that took Rockhampton racing by storm has been retired.
The grey filly with starlet looks to match her racetrack prowess retires as the greatest stake winning horse trained throughout her career at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park racecourse.
Paradis Imperial (gr/br m 8/9/2014 Instinction – Hennessy Beau x Hennessy (USA) had 31 starts for 10 wins and 11 placings for $379,975 in stakes.
Not bad considering she only cost this writer $9000 as a yearling purchased at Magic Millions March sale in 2016.
Paradis Imperial won her first five starts in succession culminating in setting a record for a Rockhampton 2YO filly by winning under 58kg at Eagle Farm, Brisbane on January 21, 2017.
Three weeks later she ran third at Eagle Farm under a whooping 59.5kg.
Two starts later on March 13, 2017, Paradis Imperial set a Rockhampton weight carrying record for a juvenile filly winning over 1100m under 63kg by 2.75l at Callaghan Park in a astonishing 1min:3.8 seconds.
By winning the $100,000 Parry Nissan 2YO Classic (1200m) at Townsville on July 15, 2017, Paradis Imperial set a record time for the race on the new look Cluden track.
More importantly, that win her seventh as a 2YO, provided her with the Australian juvenile record title for the most wins in the 2016/17 season.
At the Queensland Racehorse of the Year Awards in Brisbane in late 2017, Paradis Imperial was crowned QTIS all ages champion for the 2016/17 season.
Not only was she the top 2YO QTIS bonus earner with an extra $125,400 in stakes, Paradis Imperial won more bonus prize money that the leading 3YO.
This propelled her prize money as a 2YO to over $300,000 the most won by her age in the 150 years history of Rockhampton racing.
It was also a record figure for a juvenile filly trained north of South East Queensland.
Proving she was not just a precocious and freakish 2YO, Paradis Imperial won twice as a 3YO.
The records kept tumbling because when Esmee won with 62kg against the males in a 3YO Handicap ( 1200m) at Callaghan Park on September 21, 2017, she became the highest weighted early season filly to do so.
The grey flyer won twice as a three-year-old as well as cementing her status by finishing third in the glamour Jewel 3YO Plate (1200m) in March at the Gold Coast.
Hindered by imposing weights against all comers, Paradis Imperial trained on as a four-years old to win in Rockhampton as well as being placed on multiple occasions.
The curtain on her career came down when she was asked to lump 63.5kg against all ages at Callaghan Park on May 5 this year when it was obvious in the race that the handicapper had finally caught up with her.
“She was weighted down and although unplaced she tried her heart out. I decided then I couldn’t bare to go on with her as I would never forgive myself if something went amiss with her in a race. She pulled up sound but it just became too hard to place and find suitable races. Furthermore, I don’t train my horses hard on the training tack and the timing of the Rocky Carnival was too soon for her. I did not want Paradis Imperial to retire as a “has been”as so many wonderful horses have over the years. All the owners agreed to pull the pin as Esmee took us all to some unprecedented heights and provided a ride of a lifetime”, trainer Tony McMahon/this writer said.
Paradis Imperial has let down into a magnificent mare being readied for the next chapter of her life as a broodmare.
“The owners including my wife are not horse breeders so a decision on her future will be determined soon before the start of the breeding season”.
Paradis Imperial was ridden in eight of her wins by Nathan Day while Adrian Coome won on her twice.
Here’s cheers to Esmee and her foals!