Internationals show positive signs for trainer Stefan Vahala

Trainer Stefan Vahala walked away from Monday’s Belmont trials with a spring in his step after a couple of recent acquisitions performed strongly.

Lord Lala, a Deep Field gelding from New Zealand, stormed home powerfully from midfield after being hooked to the outside by jockey, Laqdar Ramoly.

Showing an impressive turn of foot, the three-year-old ran past Siberian Siren near the post and scored by a length with another three-length margin to Choixway.

Later in heat nine, Stefan Vahala watched former French stayer Soldanelle flash home for second behind Spirited Session in an eye-catching Australian debut.

A daughter of Siyouni, the same sire as boom mare Amelia’s Jewel, Soldanelle raced six times in France for one win, at 2150m in Lyon and three placings.

“Stable clients bought Lord Lala for $150,000 at the New Zealand Ready To Run sales,” Vahala told The Races WA.

“The original owners paid $200,000 at the Gold Coast sales and were going to sell him to Hong Kong, but he failed the vet test.

“There is nothing physically wrong with the horse other than he had an immature knee and may have been pushed hard early.

“After a spell we x-rayed him coming back for this prep and his knee was perfect.

“He’s a nice horse who has a bright future.

“He showed a real nice turn of foot in the trial.”

Vahala believes Soldanelle shaded Lord Lala as best performed at Monday’s heats.

He hopes the five-year-old can progress to top staying races in Perth.

“She had been working really well at home and I’ll find a 1400m race first up for her,” Vahala said.

“Her form in Europe didn’t match the work she was doing at home.

“Her turn of foot today (Monday) was really good.

“The aim is to get her rating points up as high as we can.

“We don’t know where she’s at, but we’ll try and win as many races as we can.

“Once we get to that stage we’ll make a decision: is she Perth Cup or Bunbury Cup, or is she not good enough for those.

“But with her turn of foot I think she is going to be up there.

“I thought she was the best of my two runners at the trials, but both horses pulled up terrific.”

Meanwhile, looking to Saturday and Vahala has high hopes for his promising Universal Ruler gelding, Aztec Ruler.

The four-year-old was slow out last start but powered to the line strongly in the fastest final 600m when fifth to Planet Cash.

“He’s flying and will race Saturday,” Vahala said.

“He couldn’t be going any better and will improve on his last run.

“He’ll go into a 66 + 1400m, he’s going amazing.”

Aztec Ruler flashed big potential last year and appeared destined to figure in major Ascot Pinnacles races before being cut down by a minor injury.

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