Universal Ruler three year-old Military Reign outclassed her rivals at Belmont on Saturday in the lead-up to a black-type campaign at the summer carnival.
Trainer Darren McAuliffe signalled starts in the LR Belgravia Stakes (1200m) on October 17 and LR Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m) on October 31 for the daughter of Scenic Lodge sire Universal Ruler who has now won 4 times in 6 starts.
“She’s a very nice filly and has really improved since her two year-old campaign earlier this year,” McAuliffe said. “She copped a bump out of the barriers today and Willie (Pike) decided to dig and go to the front. He used her high cruising speed and she gave a strong kick in the straight.”
Military Reign was backed from $2.20 into $1.35 and she maintained a two-length buffer under hands-and-heels to beat Let It Slip (Not A Single Doubt) and Champagne Charger (Choisir). Scenic Lodge homebred Idyllic Queen (Universal Ruler) is also black-type bound after tracking the winner and then boxing on for fourth.
“I will send her to the paddock for a few days to chill out and freshen up,” McAuliffe continued. “I think 1400m will see her out at this stage but there’s a chance we might have a throw at the stumps in the WA Guineas.”
Military Reign is a younger sister to McAuliffe’s smart sprinter Military Ruler who won his third race in town at Belmont on September 5. They are the only two foals from unraced mare General’s Delight (General Nediym) who is closely related to Brisbane Group 3 sprinter Alpine Express (Nediym).
Universal Ruler (Scenic) was Champion WA first and second season stallion and that helped attract 127 mares in 2014. He is covering a similar sized book this year and Scenic Lodge is still taking bookings at a $6,050 fee.