Hot Reception caused an upset in the Gr 3 Poinsettia Stakes over 1200m at Scottsville on Sunday, running on strongly to deny Oracle News, Soft Landing and Ethereal Lady.
Sent off into an early lead, Hot Reception was tagged by Ethereal Lady with Oracle News, Zooming Zellie and Soft Landing all in touch. Royal Vision and Maelstrom were just off them while Rat Burana, who had been bumped at the start, dropped out to last and looked under pressure a long way out.
Hot Reception was still in charge passing the 400m mark as challenges materialised from Soft Landing and Maelstrom with Rat Burana belatedly trying to get into the fray. However, try as they might, they could not cut back the long-time leader and Hot Reception kept finding more to win by almost a length. Oracle News flashed up late for second to deny Soft Landing while Ethereal Lady tired late into fourth.
This was an impressive performance from the winner but it was hard to fancy her before the race as she was well out at the weights on official ratings and despite some consistent recent form, had been beaten often enough against weaker. Still, she won fair and square and it won’t be the last time we see the form book torn up in a weight-for-age event.
Oracle News was a danger if she could recapture her earlier form and she did just that, turning in her best effort for a while.
Soft Landing remains an enigma. She battled away gamely enough and this was a creditable performance over a trip that’s on the sharp side for her, but whether she will maintain this level of form next time out is another question.
Ethereal Lady wasn’t beaten too far in fourth but she hasn’t looked quite as sharp since her Cape campaign and her connections will hope this run will bring her on for her defence of her SA Fillies Sprint crown.
Hot Reception is a 4-year-old filly by Muhtafal (USA) out of Triple Tempo (SAF) by Northern Guest (USA). She was bred by Summerhill Stud (Nominee: Mr M J B Goss) who co-own her in partnership with Messrs R Plersch, R Thorpe and R B Zeeman.
Winning trainer: Herman Brown