Aztec Ruler created a big impression and won a heap of admirers after his outstanding win on debut at Belmont a fortnight ago.
The two-year-old gelding, with Chris Parnham in the saddle, was spotting speedy filly Revitup a big lead in the run home, but sailed past her with a rocketing finish.
Trainer Stefan Vahala was rapt to take home the victory after thinking he was running for second or third at best with Aztec Ruler a long way off them in the straight.
Aztec Ruler goes around for a second time at Belmont on Saturday, stepping up to 1200m and Vahala has put the heat on, expecting another victory to justify the hype.
Vahala says if Aztec Ruler can pull out another dominant performance it will prompt him to consider raising the bar to stakes level at The Pinnacles carnival later in the year.
“Saturday will give me a good guide on where to go,” Vahala told The Races WA.
“He’s exciting and I don’t think he could have done much more the other day on debut.
“But I won’t be carried away or get ahead of myself, I’ve had some back luck with the racing gods.
“If he wins like I think he should, he can go to the paddock and we’ll explore carnival races and the WA Guineas.
“If he doesn’t win, it’s not going to be the end of the world, he’ll have a good break and comeback in January when the better three-year-olds are not racing.
“We’d be better off picking up good money in Westspeed races than wasting our time chasing a Group win.
“He has to raise the bar and prove it wasn’t just a one off, back it up again, but I would be disappointed if he didn’t.”
Aztec Ruler has given his owners a quick return on their investment after he cost a modest $40,000 at the Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale.
If you count his two trial wins in the lead up to his debut the son of Universal Ruler has gone through undefeated is his three public appearances.
In current Tabtouch markets Aztec Rule is the $2.25 favourite, his quote tightening after the scratching of Sentimental Belle.
El Patron and Diamond Command are next at $8 and $8.50, respectively.
With Sentimental Belle out, Aztec Ruler will come into barrier seven. Chris Parnham retains the ride.
Vahala says Aztec Ruler had thrived since his run on July 2.
“It’s amazing how well he has come on since that run,” Vahala said.
“He hasn’t missed anything and is extremely well.”