Former Mungrup Stud stallion Red Hot Choice was back in the frame when his multiple Stakes winner Hot Zed struck again in the G3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Hot Zed was caught wide for the duration of the feature sprint before winding up late to defeat Ghost Who Walks (God Has Spoken), Nerodio (Playing God) and Go Forward (Written Tycoon). The result took punters by surprise with the First 4 paying almost $50,000.
“He was three-deep without cover but he likes plenty of galloping room,” trainer Lou Luciani said. “Our tactics didn’t play out as planned but Jason (Whiting) knows how to ride when they’re caught facing the breeze.”
Hot Zed broke through at Listed level in the 2021 Carbine Club Stakes and followed up in the 2022 Scenic Blast Stakes and 2023 Pinjarra Classic. The 6yo gelding has earned $978,515 including Westspeed Bonuses of $71,550 and Luciani confirmed he will back up in the G1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on December 2.
He won’t be overawed having gone down no more than a length and change in the Winterbottom and G3 Gold Rush last year.
Hot Zed is a Mungrup Stud homebred and was just one of six foals from the final crop of their Redoute’s Choice sire Red Hot Choice. His dam Zedfire (Zedrich) is a sister Flemington Listed winner Penny Banger who has already given the pedigree several Group 1 updates through her weight-for-age star Behemoth (All Too Hard).
Champion sire Oratorio (Stravinsky) was another former Mungrup Stud stallion in the news on the weekend when Cable Boy won the Great Southern heat of the TABtouch Regional Championships (1230m) at Albany on Sunday.
Cable Boy also raced wide without cover under Tash Faithfull but was good enough to hold out late charger Starauthoress (Starspangledbanner). He was racing first-up since May for trainer Steve Wolfe and owner Ron Beacham to qualify for the $100,000 TABtouch Regional Championship Final (1200m) at Ascot on December 2.
His dam Surrendering (Danehill Express) is a half-sister to G2 WA Guineas winner Moccasin Bend (Eternity Range) and was purchased by Dawson Stud’s Graham Daws for $6,000 at the 2020 Mungrup Stud Dispersal. Her latest foal is a yearling filly by Playing God.