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Raising the bar with Military Reign

Darren McAuliffe is ready to raise the bar with flying three year-old Military Reign after her last-start victory in the Marjorie Charleson Classic (1200m).

The Universal Ruler filly defeated Group 1 winner Magnifisio by more than two lengths at Ascot and there’s more in store according to her trainer. “There are a lot of good races coming up,” McAuliffe said. “She will run out a strong 1400m.”

The stable had the option of a shot at the stumps with Military Reign in the LR Sheila Gwynne Classic (1400m) at Ascot this Saturday but will stick to the easier alternative of a Benchmark 72 Sprint over 1000 metres.

That will lead into the LR Northam Stakes on May 1 and G3 Roma Cup at Belmont on May 14. “She will be weighted on the limit at Northam with 53kg,” McAuliffe said. “All going well, she will then head to the Roma Cup at weight for age.

“If she can handle the older horses under those conditions, we will tip her out for a spell and think about the Winterbottom Stakes!”

McAuliffe had Military Reign’s older brother Military Ruler set to resume in the $75,000 Batavia Sprint at Geraldton on Sunday until he tore a shoe and injured a hoof. He won at Ascot and Belmont for the stable last year.

Scenic Lodge resident Universal Ruler sired the stablemates from General’s Delight (General Nediym) who is related to brilliant Brisbane sprinter Alpine Express (Nediym).

Karnup trainer Grant Williams will be quietly confident taking his unraced Universal Ruler 2yo Snow Lord to Pinjarra on Wednesday. The first starter will be favoured in the Sound Telegraph Maiden (1000m) after a 5 length trial wimagein at Lark Hill earlier this month.

Snow Lord is a homebred for Elio and Jacque Galante from Snowshoes (Blackfriars). The Perth couple also bred and raced their Universal Ruler winner Let Me Impress from a mare by Blackfriars.

Universal Ruler is building momentum with buyers at the Perth Magic Millions. Williams paid $110,000 for his colt (ex Marascobel) in February and a filly (ex Special Kiseki) sold for $55,000.

Scenic Lodge stood Universal Ruler for a $6,050 (inc gst) service fee last year and will be announcing its 2016 roster and fees later this month.