The Autumn Sun triumphs in Rosehill Guineas

Glamour colt The Autumn Sun became the warrior prince with a gritty victory in the ATC Rosehill Guineas G1, his fifth Group 1 success…

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.

Watch The Autumn Sun win the ATC Rosehill Guineas G1.

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.

Lot 369 at the 2019 Inglis Easter Sale is the Not A Single Doubt-Azmiyna colt, three-quarter brother to The Autumn Sun. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

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

The Autumn Sun answers the call to greatness

The Autumn Sun delivered an astonishing performance to secure his fourth Group 1 victory in Saturday’s $1 million ATC Randwick Guineas…

With three Group 1 victories, a Group 2 success and only one defeat in his first 7 starts, The Autumn Sun had already established himself as the season’s best 3YO colt. 
 
Saturday’s $1 million ATC Randwick Guineas 1600m G1 appeared to be at his mercy, but racing is never that predictable. 

When Miss Fabulass shot forward to take up the lead and  ran a mid-race 600 metres in a breath over 33 seconds, The Autumn Sun was suddenly faced with a near-impossible task.

Rounding the turn, Miss Fabulass was pressured by Not A Single Doubt’s classy daughter Fundamentalist and Vegadaze, as Kerrin McEvoy peeled out four-wide and many lengths back on The Autumn Sun to launch what looked like a forlorn challenge. 

Fundamentalist took the lead 350 metres out, attended by Vegadaze, with Surround Stakes G1 winner Nakeeta Jane 3 lengths away and The Autumn Sun 3 lengths behind her. 

At the 200-metre mark Fundamentalist, a 4-time Group 1 bridesmaid, was taking no prisoners and, although The Autumn Sun was about to hit top speed of 66 km/hour, his chance of victory remained slim.

It was perhaps only 70 metres from the post that the colt’s raking stride and exceptional finishing speed finally made success certain, although it took another 60 metres to best the filly by a long head and stop the clock at 1:33.72.

The Autumn Sun ran his last 600 metres in 33:94 seconds – marginally faster than Winx’s 34:09 last 600m in the Chipping Norton S. G1, also on a Good4 track over the same distance at Randwick on 2 March.

World Horse Racing @WHR on Twitter summarised the statistical highlights of The Autumn Sun’s performance:

33m behind the lead
10m behind 150m out
22.52s last 400m
11.01s fastest 200m
THE AUTUMN SUN is special

Arrowfield’s John Messara  concurred, describing The Autumn Sun’s performance as “the best thing I’ve ever seen on a racecourse” and, for the first time, declared him a champion. 

The Autumn Sun represents everything that Arrowfield has worked to achieve and create over the past 35 years. Bred by Arrowfield’s joint venture with HH The Aga Khan, he is the best racing son of supersire Redoute’s Choice, while his dam Azmiyna is a Galileo half-sister to  European Champion Azamour.

The Autumn Sun is a member of Arrowfield’s outstanding Yearling Class of 2017 and was purchased from the Inglis Easter Sale for $700,000 by Chris Waller Racing, Hermitage Thoroughbreds & Mulcaster Bloodstock. Arrowfield acquired a 50 per cent interest in the colt last October, before his 4.5 length Caulfield Guineas G1 win.

Arrowfield also co-bred and sold the only other horse to complete the Caulfield & Randwick Guineas double – Australian Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler, in 2007/08.

The Stud, which has sent 9 Group 1 winners to Inglis Easter since 2014, will offer The Autumn Sun’s three-quarter brother by Not A Single Doubt from Azmiyna as Lot 369 at next month’s Inglis Easter auction. 

The Autumn Sun blazes in Guineas victory

Even the incomparable Danehill left only two Australian-bred colts that won at Group 1 level as a 2YO and then won two or more Group 1 races at three. Now The Autumn Sun has joined that exclusive club with a glorious victory in the $2 million MRC Caulfield Guineas G1…

Even the incomparable Danehill left only two Australian-bred colts that won at Group 1 level as a 2YO and then won two or more Group 1 races at three. 

Their names? Flying Spur – Champion Sire of Australia, 2007 and Redoute’s Choice – Champion Sire of Australia, 2006, 2010 & 2014.

On Saturday the colt Arrowfield bought into earlier this week, The Autumn Sun joined that exclusive club with a glorious victory in the $2 million MRC Caulfield Guineas 1600m G1.

That followed his successes in last season’s J.J. Atkins S. G1 and last month’s Golden Rose S. G1.

Only Champion 2YO and Champion 3YO Filly Miss Finland, and Horse of the Year Lankan Rupee, with five Group 1 wins apiece, now rank ahead of him on the Redoute’s Choice honour roll. 

The race didn’t go to plan for The Autumn Sun who jumped more sharply than jockey James McDonald expected and ended up racing three wide without cover for much of the race. 

It mattered little to the colt who took control at the top of the straight and powered away from Vassilator and last-start Group 1 winner Oohood to score by 4.5 lengths, giving McDonald time to savour the victory.

Arrowfield’s John Messara said, “We’re absolutely delighted to share such a wonderful win with Hermitage Thoroughbreds and Chris Waller and his team.

“To sit as wide as he did and then win in such a dominant manner confirms that The Autumn Sun is a very special horse.

“It is extra special that we bred and sold him with the Aga Khan Studs at Inglis Easter and that he has won the race that made his sire Redoute’s Choice a legend 19 years ago.”

The Autumn Sun was purchased for $700,000 from the Stud’s 2017 Inglis Easter draft by Hermitage Thoroughbreds & Chris Waller Racing, assisted by agent Guy Mulcaster. After five wins from six starts, his earnings now exceed $2.3 million. 

The Autumn Sun is the second foal of the young Galileo mare Azmiyna, an unraced half-sister to European Champion Azamour & Group 2 winner Arazan, from Listed winner Asmara.

His three-quarter sister by Snitzel was secured for $1.3 million by the same Hermitage/Waller/Mulcaster team at this year’s Easter Sale. Azmiyna has a yearling colt by Not A Single Doubt and is due to foal again to Snitzel this Spring. 

Arrowfield buys into The Autumn Sun

Arrowfield joins the ownership of top colt The Autumn Sun, unbeaten Group 1 winner at two, and already an outstanding winner of the Golden Rose G1 this Spring…

Arrowfield Stud principal John Messara, AM has today announced the acquisition of a 50 per cent interest in Australia’s top colt The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice-Azmiyna) from owner Hermitage Thoroughbreds.

He says, “I am very pleased to join Hermitage in the ownership of The Autumn Sun to race him and then develop his breeding career.

“It just seems Arrowfield is the rightful place for this colt’s future at stud – after all, we bred and sold him in partnership with The Aga Khan Studs, and we launched and stand his champion sire and, previously, his grand-sire Danehill.”

“He has physique, athleticism and pedigree, all of the highest order, and I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of standing him at Arrowfield.”

John Messara also assumes responsibility for managing The Autumn Sun’s racing career.

Trainer Chris Waller says, “This horse has amazing potential and I feel we have unearthed only a small portion of what is to come.

“His athleticism, temperament, good looks and speed combine to create a horse that dominated at two and now into his three-year-old season, and I have no doubt this will continue as a later three-year-old and beyond.” 

“I have been fortunate to work with some very good horses and that experience has allowed me to place The Autumn Sun with confidence in the races that we have chosen thus far. He leaves a lasting memory for those privileged to watch him race and I am sure this will transition to his progeny when the time comes to embark on his stud career.”

The Autumn Sun is out of the Galileo mare Azmiyna, a half-sister to His Highness The Aga Khan’s European Champion and four-time Group 1 winner Azamour.  Selected by Mulcaster Bloodstock from Arrowfield’s 2017 Inglis Easter draft, the colt was purchased for $700,000 by Hermitage Thoroughbreds & Chris Waller Racing.

The Autumn Sun has already made a significant impact on Australian racing with four wins from only five starts, two of them at Group 1 level. Unbeaten at two when his three wins included the BRC JJ Atkins S. G1, The Autumn Sun confirmed his class with a breath-taking victory in last month’s ATC Golden Rose S. G1.

Currently rated Australia’s best 3YO by Timeform, he is the dominant pre-post favourite for this Saturday’s $2 million MRC Caulfield Guineas G1.