The Autumn Sun celebrates first-crop Group 1 winner

Autumn Angel takes control of the Australian Oaks G1 to become The Autumn Sun's first elite winner and Arrowfield's 83rd Group 1-winning graduate. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Autumn Angel’s emphatic victory in the $1 million ATC Australian Oaks 2400m G1 is a major milestone for her sire The Autumn Sun, the best racing colt by the great Redoute’s Choice and now a Group 1 sire. 

Autumn Angel’s performance, backing up from her courageous Adrian Knox S. G3 second last Saturday, was franked by the quality of her opposition: she defeated the VRC Oaks G1 winner Zardozi, the race favourite and New Zealand Derby G1 & Storm Queen S. G1 winner Orchestral, Levin Classic G1 winner Quintessa, valiant Storm Queen runner-up Tutta La Vita and VRC Oaks 3rd Basilinna. 

Syndicator Wylie Dalziel, who joined trainer Peter Moody & Katherine Coleman to secure Autumn Angel for $230,000 from Arrowfield’s 2022 Inglis Easter draft, describes her as “one of the most genuine fillies we’ve ever purchased.” That’s supported by her $1.1 million race record which shows only one unplaced effort in 9 starts, and victories at Group 1, 2 & 3 levels over 1600m, 2000m & 2400m at Flemington, Caulfield & Randwick.    

Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer, on course at Randwick with a team of Arrowfielders, said after the Oaks, “What a beautiful filly, out of a great mare and just a great pedigree going forward…It’s great for the stallion, we’ve always had great belief in him and he’s really starting to deliver.

“She’s top-class this filly. We’ve always felt The Autumn Sun’s progeny would be horses that when we got to these Classic races they’d come into their own and what a performance that was.

“I think that’s one of the strongest Oaks I’ve ever seen…the first five across the line could win any normal Oaks in any other year.”

It has been a heady Championships week for Arrowfield which celebrated two other graduate successes at Randwick: last Saturday’s stunning Doncaster Mile G1 winner Celestial Legend (Dundeel-Sarraqa), and the final winner of the meeting, Sapphire S. G2 winner Wee Nessy (Snitzel-Later Gator). 

Autumn Angel as a yearling – like Group 1 Randwick Guineas & Doncaster Mile winner Celestial Legend, she is from Arrowfield’s Class of 2022. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

The 7th Group 1 winner bred by the partnership of Arrowfield & Japan’s famed Northern Farm, Autumn Angel is out of the very good racemare Angel Of Mercy (by Hussonet), who won three Listed races and the BRC Lord Mayor’s Cup G3, and was a close 2nd in the Tattersall’s Tiara G1 at her final start.

The combination of Redoute’s Choice’s sons with Hussonet’s daughters has now produced 10 stakeswinners from 106 runners, including dual Group 1 winner and brilliant sire Extreme Choice.

Autumn Angel has two younger full sisters and one of them, 2YO Stolen Summer was passed in at last year’s Inglis Easter Sale and will race from the Paul Messara & Leah Gavranich stable. Angel Of Mercy produced a Maurice colt in 2023 and is in foal to triple Classic winner Hitotsu. 

It’s notable that three of The Autumn Sun’s first four stakeswinners have won at Group level, while the fourth, Listed winner Coco Sun continues to develop: she scored by 3 lengths over 1600m at Bendigo’s Metro meeting on Saturday. 

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