Scenic Lodge freshman Universal Ruler sired his first winner when racing returned to Belmont on Saturday.
His brilliant youngster Rebel King won the Westspeed Nursery (1000m) untouched by four lengths first-up after a spell. The ease of the victory prompted a string of superlatives from trainer Darren McAuliffe in a post-race interview.
“This horse is the quickest I’ve ever had,” McAuliffe stated. “And that’s no disrespect to Universal Ruler – I trained him too but this one is in a different grade.”
Rebel King (2g Universal Ruler – Rebel Sister by Falbrav) had won a 400m jump-out by 13 lengths last month and started an odds-on favourite at his first run back since February. “He got knocked down on debut and the protest was dismissed,” McAuliffe recalled. “Then I declared him for the Magic Millions Classic second-up but he pulled up shin-sore.
“He’s a high-cruising sprinter with a great turn of foot and he’s got a decent motor. His sectionals are already off the richter scale.”
McAuliffe trains Rebel King for a syndicate managed by Impressive Racing owner Kevin Berry. “We raced Universal Ruler and there’s a real buzz around his first two year-olds,” Berry said recently. “They can run alright and, besides our stable, I’m hearing there’s a lot more coming through with other trainers.”
Universal Ruler (Scenic) defeated Australian Horse of the Year Scenic Blast in the LR Perth Stakes at two and trained on to a Group 3 victory in the Belmont Sprint.
Scenic Lodge will announce its 2014 service fees for Blackfriars, Dash For Cash and Universal Ruler this week.