Trainer Stefan Vahala has an anxious few days coming up with his unbeaten gelding Aztec Ruler suffering a minor setback, placing his return in Saturday week’s Placid Ark Stakes (1200m) in serious jeopardy.
Initially scheduled to have a Lark Hill trial this morning (Monday), Aztec Ruler is racing the clock to be fit for the Placid Ark Stakes, one of the marquee races for three-year-olds at the Pinnacles carnival.
Vahala said the next 48 hours is pivotal for Aztec Ruler.
“He’s got an abscess and I need to gallop him this week to make it possible to get to the Placid Ark Stakes,” Vahala told The Races WA.
“The abscess has dissipated but if I can’t gallop him on Wednesday he won’t be going there.
“If I can gallop him on Wednesday and again next Tuesday he’ll be fit enough to run in the Placid Ark Stakes first up.
“But if I can’t gallop him on Wednesday we are in strife, I have to gallop him then.
“It’s not ideal and it sucks and the weekend was hard for me.”
On the eve of a rich feature race, it’s an untimely blow for Vahala with Aztec Ruler flashing big potential after a top maiden campaign in the winter.
He impressed on debut at a Belmont in June with a storming finish and then displayed his versatility by racing on speed when scoring second up.
Aztec Ruler is $5 with Tabtouch in their all in market for the Placid Ark Stakes.
The son of Universal Ruler sits on the third line behind All Show $3.75 and Baby Paris $4.