TABtouch has firmed Red Hot Tip into $11 for the WATC Derby following his rapid rise through the ranks this month.

He won the Capel Vale Winery Maiden (1690m) at Bunbury on March 8 and capped his classic prelims with a perfectly-rated victory in the LR Melvista Stakes (2200m) at Ascot on Saturday.

Winning jockey Ryan Hill gave rival hoops a tactical lesson in the traditional lead-up to the G2 WATC Derby (2400m) on April 11. He dictated terms apart from a mid-race move by Crezee (Chris Parnham) and had them all off the bit turning for home.

Red Hot Tip (Red Hot Choice) lengthened his lead to five lengths in the straight and was never going to get caught by late-closers Midnight Blue (So You Think) and Criminal Code (Maschino).

The Melvista has been a reliable guide to the WATC Derby with Regal Power (2019), Gatting (2017), Cats Fun (2006), Plastered (2005), Mr Sandgroper (2004) & Shirazamatazz (2003) completing the double since the turn of the century.

Trainer Stephen Miller bought Red Hot Tip for $26,000 from Mungrup Stud at the 2018 Perth Magic Millions and, at first glance, he’s bred to be a short-course horse instead of a classic prospect.

He’s the final foal of Zedlink, a daughter of speed influence Zedrich, whose only win was a Mt Barker maiden over 1100m. The closest black-type in the pedigree is Volkoff (LR Miss Andretti Stakes). She won 12 races but none beyond 1100m.

His sire Red Hot Choice was used sparingly in five books at Mungrup Stud until 2017. A son of Redoute’s Choice from a General Nediym mare, he did show stamina as a summer 3yo running seconds in the LR Aquanita Stakes (1800m) and LR WA St Leger (2100m).

He resumed for a campaign aimed at the 2010 WATC Derby but was injured and didn’t get the chance to realise the potential that trainer Neville Parnham claimed was just below the surface.

The first Red Hot Choice stakes winner arrived in December when Sanabreanna saluted in the LR Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic. She is owned by Lex and Shirley Piper and they also raced Red Hot Tip’s dam Zedlink.

Photo: Western Racepix