In the series of escalating tests that comprise the 3YO Classic program there is sometimes a moment when the season’s glamour colt becomes the warrior prince.
Redoute’s Choice’s heroic drive past Testa Rossa in the final metres of the 1999 Caulfield Guineas is one example.
For The Autumn Sun that test arrived in Saturday’s $600,000 ATC Rosehill Guineas G1 where his status as odds-on favourite, racing at his home course, obscured the serious challenge of the Heavy8 track conditions and his first attempt at 2000 metres.
Plus an uncompromising Kiwi-bred colt named Arrogant who joined The Autumn Sun as their rivals receded, leaving the pair to fight out the final 300 metres.
The Autumn Sun had to draw on all his class and courage to secure his fifth Group 1 victory, and secure it he did, by the same 0.2 length margin that separated his champion sire and Testa Rossa almost two decades ago.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy confirmed the quality of The Autumn Sun’s performance. “He showed an enormous amount of grit because he wasn’t really liking that ground, it’s a real heavy track, and he has proved to me today that he prefers a nicer surface.”
“He’s a real gritty colt and his record suggests that. He toughed it out at 2000 metres, his first try at the trip, and he toughed it out really well.”
The Autumn Sun has now won eight of his 9 starts, five at Group level including the Caulfield, Randwick & Rosehill Guineas, which ranks him among the very best of Arrowfield’s Group 1 sale graduates, alongside Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler (7 Group 1 wins), Champion 2YO & 3YO Filly Miss Finland (5) and Champion 3YO Danewin (5).
A number of outstanding 3YOs including Tulloch, Imagele, Spirit Of Kingston, Octagonal, Weekend Hussler & Dundeel have won two of the three principal Guineas races, but The Autumn Sun is the first horse to win all three since the Canterbury (now Randwick) Guineas was introduced in 1935.
The Autumn Sun, Miss Finland & the gelding Lankan Rupee, each with five Group 1 successes, head the list of Redoute’s Choice’s 34 Group 1 winners.
Bred by Arrowfield and HH the Aga Khan’s Studs, The Autumn Sun is the second foal of Azmiyna (by Galileo) and was purchased for $700,000 by Hermitage Thoroughbreds, Chris Waller Racing & Guy Mulcaster Bloodstock at the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale.
Arrowfield sold two other Group 1 winners, Champion 2YO Estijaab and Cape Derby winner Atyaab, at that Sale and offered nine of the 27 Group 1-winning Inglis Easter graduates since 2014.
The Waller & Mulcaster team also bought The Autumn Sun’s three-quarter sister by Snitzel for $1.3 million at Inglis Easter 2018, and the Not A Single Doubt-Azmiyna colt is Lot 369 in this year’s catalogue. Azmiyna delivered a Snitzel colt last October, before returning to Europe via Japan where she has a date with supersire Deep Impact.
As for Redoute’s Choice, he is now 4th on the General Sires’ premiership with $7.6 million prizemoney and has 20 yearlings on offer at Inglis Easter next month. They include 7 colts and 4 fillies in the Arrowfield consignment.