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. 

First Group win for She's Clean

“She’s a really nice mare. She tries her guts out. A seven-year-old mare racing in career best form,” was how jockey James McDonald described She’s Clean after she charged home on the rails to win the Newcastle JC Tibbie S. 1400m G3 on Friday.

It was the 10th win from 36 starts for the daughter of Redoute’s Choice, and took her earnings to $620,220 for Ingham Racing and trainer Chris Waller, who won three of the four feature races at Newcastle.

Watch She’s Clean win the Tibbie S. G3.

She’s Clean won two Listed Races in Sydney at four, was Group-placed at Flemington the following Spring and is now her champion sire’s 77th Group winner.

Bred by Arrowfield & John Leaver, She’s Clean is out of Feather Duster (by End Sweep), a city-winning half-sister to Champion Japanese Sprinter/Miler Kinshasa No Kiseki, and the dam of Absolutely (also by Redoute’s Choice and winner of the 2011 Australian Oaks G1).

She’s Clean, a $300,000 Ingham purchase from Arrowfield’s draft at the 2010 Inglis Easter Sale, is the best of the three city winners so far left by Feather Duster, also dam of First Light Racing’s 3YO filly The Duster and a 2YO colt, both by Not A Single Doubt. Feather Duster is foaling this Spring to Animal Kingdom, and her daughter Ebony Wand (by Flying Spur) produced a Charge Forward colt last month.

Redoute’s Choice, represented by 15 stakeswinners worldwide in 2014/15, has quickly set to work on the new season with She’s Clean, Royal Descent (ATC Warwick S. G2), Raphael’s Cat (2nd, VRC Danehill S. G2) and King’s Troop (2nd, ATC San Domenico S. G3). 

It's A Dundeel triumphs at The Championships

It’s A Dundeel made history in Arrowfield’s famous black-and-yellow diamond silks on Saturday when he swept to his sixth Group 1 victory in the $4 million ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2000 metres at Royal Randwick.

A perfect climax to the first presentation of The Championships, the race matched its billing as the weight-for-age grand final of the Australian season.

It’s A Dundeel contributed to the drama when he slipped in the tie-up stalls before the race and lacerated his near hind fetlock and pastern. Passed fit to start by the stewards, he bounced brightly from barrier 1 and settled beautifully for James McDonald behind Carlton House and My Kingdom Of Fife, with the favourite Silent Achiever tracking him in fourth position.

As the field approached the turn, It’s A Dundeel began to ease forward. He got the better of My Kingdom Of Fife around the 400-metre mark, then set sail for the lead which he claimed from the resolute Carlton House 150 metres from home. Meanwhile, the outstanding two-time Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls had punched through from near the back of the field to challenge for the lead and the race, but It’s A Dundeel immediately answered McDonald’s call for a final championship kick to win by almost a length in 2:03.72.

Carlton House fought on well for third, 3 lengths away, with Silent Achiever fourth and Royal Descent (by Redoute’s Choice) fifth.

McDonald said, “We’ve worked all the autumn for this. When he worked on Tuesday, I got off and said they don’t work as good as the way he works, he was back to his best and it was so good to win today. This horse has taken me to heights I never thought I’d reach.”

It’s A Dundeel (High Chaparral-Stareel by Zabeel) was bred in New Zealand by Murray & Jo Andersen and is trained by Murray Baker for the partnership headed by Arrowfield, along with the Andersens and their original co-owners Tracy Andersen, Gavin Chaplow, Sharyn & Mike Craig, Tony & Wendy Craig, David & Jenny Morison, Tony Muollo & Dino Focas.

It’s A Dundeel has now won six Group 1 races from 1600 to 2400 metres across four campaigns at three and four. In all, he has won 10 and placed in five of his 19 starts, and today’s win takes his career prizemoney to $5,392,165.

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes was the fourth start this Autumn for It’s A Dundeel, after placings in the Chipping Norton S. 1600m G1, Ranvet S. 2000m G1 and The BMW 2400m G1. Today’s victory and his defeat of the previously unbeaten Atlantic Jewel in last Spring’s 1800-metre Underwood S. G1 surely make him a leading contender for both Australian & New Zealand Horse of the Year titles.

Diamond shines for Not A Single Doubt

Gypsy Diamond’s part-owner and co-breeder Ron Finemore was smiling broadly after the 3YO filly ran out an impressive winner of the $200,000 ATC Carbine Club S. 1600m G3 on Day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick.

Topweight of 57kg and a Heavy9 track offered a serious test for the daughter of Not A Single Doubt and the race didn’t begin well for her when she missed the jump and ended up slightly worse than midfield during the running.

Jockey James McDonald had to wait until the field straightened and opened up before starting to drive Gypsy Diamond forward, but the filly responded quickly and generously to score by two lengths from Casino Dancer, with Rock Sturdy another half-length away, third.

Bred and raced by Finemore in partnership with John Leaver, Gypsy Diamond (ex Gypsy Tucker by Zabeel) won the Moonee Valley Fillies’ Classic G2 and was fourth in the VRC Oaks G1 last spring. She returned to finish second to Sweet Idea in the ATC Light Fingers S. G2 and fourth in Thump’s Surround S. G2 before an unplaced run in last month’s Coolmore Classic G1. She has now won more than $400,000 from three wins & three placings in a 13-start career.

Trainer John O’Shea said, “She’s a talented filly and I thought she would have acquitted herself very well in the Doncaster, so it was great to get her on the board today and get a win this preparation and she can line up here next week in the mares’  race [the $1 million Queen of the Turf S. G1] and see if she can go up another grade.”

It has been a productive week for Not A Single Doubt whose nine Session 1 lots at the Inglis Easter Sale averaged $190,000. They included Gypsy Diamond’s full brother, purchased for $200,000 by Snowden Racing from the Arrowfield draft.

Not A Single Doubt’s son Mystic Power won last Sunday’s Selangor Gold Cup LR and today his Blue Diamond-winning daughter Miracles of Life was second in the SAJC Redelva S. LR. They are among Not A Single Doubt’s 14 stakes performers this season.