Universal Ruler to stand at Durham Lodge

Durham Lodge has announced it will stand Scenic stallion Universal Ruler at its Muchea base in Western Australia next year.

The news comes soon after the sensational G1 King’s Stand Stakes victory by Scenic Blast at the Royal Ascot meeting.

Universal Ruler and Scenic Blast were both bred at Durham Lodge.  They sold Universal Ruler ($42,000) and Scenic Blast ($85,000) at the 2006 Perth Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

Universal Ruler (4h Scenic – Rulings by Hurricane Sky) is a last start winner of the G3 Belmont Sprint in Perth and he will head to Melbourne for a spring campaign beginning with the G3 Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield in August.

Universal Ruler is trained by Darren McAuliffe at Ascot for Kevin Berry’s Impressive Racing Syndicate.  He was to be retired following the Belmont Sprint but after discussions with Durham Lodge owners David, Rita and Jeremy Smith, it was decided to keep him on work for another season.

McAuliffe has indicated Universal Ruler will run in the Listed York Stakes (1600m) at Belmont this Saturday, June 27.  “He has pulled up well and, if I think he can win the York Stakes, he will take his place.  It is important to bolster his black type record in Perth and in Melbourne.”

Scenic stood at Durham Lodge until his death in March 2005.  The son of Sadler’s Wells has enjoyed a magnificent season in 2008-09 siring Melbourne Cup winner Viewed as well as Scenic Blast who completed the VRC Lightning Stakes-Newmarket double before adding another G1 at Royal Ascot.

Trainer Dan Morton elected to miss the G1 Golden Jubilee in preference to the G1 July Cup at Newmarket next month.

Morton also trains Scenic Shot who completed a feature race hat-trick in the G1 Doomben Cup, G2 O’Shea Stakes and G2 Brisbane Cup in Queensland.

Another son of Scenic with a stud career in the pipeline is last-start Belmont Guineas (LR) winner Grand Nirvana who is trained by Fred Kersley for Oakland Park owner Neville Duncan.

Grand Nirvana (3c Scenic – Paradise Park by Bletchley Park) is the top colt of his generation in Perth.  He defeated older gallopers in the H G Bolton Sprint and the Roma Cup before the Guineas.

Duncan, who stands former Woodlands Stud sire Viscount at Oakland Park, knows what it’s like to win at the top level having won Group 1 events with Northerly and Marasco.
Grand Nirvana is related to G1 Melbourne Cup winner Rogan Josh (Old Spice) and G1 Railway Stakes winner Machine Gun Tom (Corporate Raider).

Meanwhile, Durham Lodge has reduced the service fees for its sires for the 2008 breeding season.  The four stallions on the roster and their fees are:  Blackfriars ($8,000), Hurricane Sky ($7,000), Universal Prince ($6,000) and Brocco ($3,000).

For further information contact Jeremy Smith on 0419 943 356.