Trainer Lou Luciani will wait and see before deciding on whether to start Hot Zed in Saturday week’s Group 3 A.J. Scahill Stakes (1400m), following his win in Saturday’s Carbine Club Stakes (1400m).
Hot Zed sat outside Son Of A God in the $125,000 feature and wore him down over the closing stages to win by a half-head.
It was the gelding’s first attempt at black-type level and put in a performance suggesting he belongs at the level.
Luciani forecast the four-year-old would “win a good race” this campaign following his first-up win on October 9 and said he was pleased to get that on the weekend.
“It was a terrific effort for the two horses to slog it out to the line,” he said.
“There was probably a lot of things in his favour on Saturday and that’s why all the so-called good judges picked him and rated him a short-price favourite.
“I thought he was certainly the horse to beat on Saturday.”
Western Empire’s dominant win in the Railway Stakes is likely to see a strong set of nominations for the Scahill Stakes.
Luciani said he would take his time before deciding on committing to a start in the $200,000 event.
“I’ll play around with him for the week and wait to see what the Scahill looks like next week,” he said.
“My figuring is most of the better ones will drop back to the 1400.
“I don’t think they’ll want to take on the good horse in the Kingston Town.
“If that’s the case, we will probably be a bit out of our depth at the weights at this stage.
“He’s done a good job and he’s got plenty of racing still left in him.”
The Scahill Stakes is set to feature Railway Stakes runner-up Comfort Me and Lee Steere Stakes winner Massimo.
Railway Stakes third placegetter Kissonallforcheeks could also line up in the Scahill Stakes, with trainer Dan Morton set to decide this week on the mare’s next start.