Superstar colt The Autumn Sun has been inoculated for a possible trip to Royal Ascot, as part-owner John Messara conceded Winx would be “nearly impossible to beat” in her swansong autumn campaign.
Chris Waller was keen on a trip to Royal Ascot from the moment The Autumn Sun blitzed his rivals in the Caulfield Guineas last spring – Waller said he missed taking on the world with Winx and he wouldn’t miss the chance with The Autumn Sun.
And now Arrowfield Stud boss John Messara – who owns 50 percent of The Autumn Sun – has revealed the colt has been inoculated for a possible mission to race in front of the Queen at Royal Ascot.
The Queen Anne Stakes – a 1600m race at Royal Ascot in June previously touted as a possible target for Winx – could be a potential target.
However Messara also indicated he was far from convinced about the merits of an overseas trip for the valuable colt.
“He (Chris Waller) has more than flagged it (Royal Ascot) – he has inoculated him,” Messara said, on Sky Racing’s The Road To The Championships TV show.
“I have always wanted to go over there.
“I’m not certain this is the horse we can do it with because he is potentially so valuable.
“We have had to pay a huge amount to buy into him, I’d be worried about the dangers, not of getting beaten so much, but of sickness, travel sickness that sort of thing happening
“He is our replacement for the great Redoute’s Choice who is a rising 22-year-old this year – I’ve got to protect him (The Autumn Sun) in any way that I can.
“I went into him with a view that he would be a stallion for Arrowfield in the next short while.
“Having said that, if he goes through and is very dominant it is attractive to carry on a bit.”
One plus with an overseas campaign for The Autumn Sun is that a winning mission would boost his standing in the northern hemisphere and make him an even more valuable proposition as a dual-hemisphere stallion.
So what of the chances that three-year-old The Autumn Sun and the mighty Winx could tangle during the autumn carnival.
Messara doubts it will happen – and probably doesn’t think The Autumn Sun is good enough to beat Winx anyway.
“I think she is nearly impossible to beat in her current form,” Messara said.
“There are plenty of races for both of us.
“If we are to meet I would approach it with great trepidation
“Frankly I don’t think he is good enough to beat her, he is a three-year-old who has run six times against a mare that has won 22 Group I races.
“I’m not thrilled about beating her at all.
“I would like her to end on a high and frankly, humbly, I don’t think we would beat her anyway.”
The Autumn Sun returns to racing in the Group II Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday and is rated as a $1.55 chance to continue on his winning ways.
A question mark for punters are The Autumn Sun’s underwhelming recent trials– but Messara has been buoyed by Waller’s unwavering confidence.
“You can only be nonplussed by them (recent trials) … but he doesn’t cut loose unless he is asked to do so,” Messara said. – Racenet.com.au