Indie Ruler was run down at his first two starts at Belmont since a six-month spell but he wasn’t for catching in the Crown Perth Maiden (1200m) on Wednesday.

Scenic Lodge-based stallion Universal Ruler has jumped to an early lead on the 2023-24 WA Sires’ Premiership and his Luke Fernie-trained gelding jumped the gun for a syndicate that includes Goldlight Nominees breeder Jason Cheetham.

Indie Ruler (Photo / Western Racepix) scored by the best part of three lengths from the short-priced favourite Miss Skyhigh (Harry Angel) and My Affliction (My Admiration).  “He didn’t look like losing today,” Fernie said.  “He kicked nicely in the straight and the addition of blinkers helped the cause today.”

Regular jockey Brayden Gaerth found the front on the winner who he said can be a difficult ride.  “He has a tendency to roll out but settled in running and I was confident at top of the straight.  He handled the ground although it didn’t feel as bad as a Heavy 9.”

Indie Ruler is the fifth winner for NZ-bred mare Atlantico (Redoute’s Choice) who was a $26,000 buy for Cheetham from Yarraman Park at the 2012 Inglis Sydney Easter Broodmare Sale.

Second-dam Anakela Bay (Fairy King) is a blood-sister to Surrealist (LR Newmarket Godolphin Stakes) and a half-sister to Blues Traveller (G2 Hollywood Park American Hcp).

He’s the third winner for Universal Ruler this season following the Stefan Vahala-trained 4yo mare Allegro Sonata at Northam last Thursday and brilliant 3yo Ginnivan who banked $84,500 for Jim and Tina Taylor on debut at Belmont on August 5.  Vahala has stable star Aztec Ruler (Universal Ruler) ready to redeem at Belmont this Saturday and the Taylors also have Ginnivan backing up on the same card.

Universal Ruler was runner-up to Playing God among active sires on the WA Sires’ premiership last season and he stands for $7,500 at Scenic Lodge alongside Dash For Cash ($2,000).  Both fees (plus GST).  For bookings or further information, contact Scenic Lodge General Manager Jeremy Smith on (08) 9571 0155  or  0419 943 356.