The Autumn Sun, the most expensive racehorse in training with a conservative $50 million price tag, is so richly talented even his usually reserved trainer Chris Waller is talking him up – and with good reason.
“This colt has the ability to be anything,’’ Waller said. “He ticks all the boxes.
“He’s unlucky not to be unbeaten, he has the best attitude, best looks, best athleticism — he is the perfect model for a racehorse.’’
Waller made the comments after The Autumn Sun scored first-up in the Group 2 $400,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
The Autumn Sun’s narrow winning margin of a long neck may prompt some to question the colt’s rating as the heir apparent to Winx but this was an outstanding comeback effort.
“You never know where a horse is until they have their first-up run, then obviously running on a heavy track was testing and that took a bit of his brilliance away,’’ Waller said.
“On these types of tracks it is not easy to pick up and get going in that ground but he did what good horses do and found a way to win.
“It was a good win and that is all he needed to do in my eyes to top him off for the Randwick Guineas in two weeks.
“I really want to see the pressure go on in the Randwick Guineas as that is when you will see the best of him. Watch out when he gets back on a good track next start.’’
The Autumn Sun ($1.55) was back and in an awkward position back on the rails in a slowly run race coming to the turn but the finished powerfully wide out to run down a game Vegadaze ($3.70) near the line with nearly two lengths to Bondi ($9).
Kerrin McEvoy, rider of The Autumn Sun, said it was great to “get that first box ticked” and have the superstar colt winning at his comeback run.
“It wasn’t all going our way early because he began just ok and the pace was only medium,’’ McEvoy said.
“He travelled nicely but when I asked him to quicken, they were quickening, too. He found the ground a little against him but I felt he was always going to get there.’’
TAB Fixed Odds price assessors tightened The Autumn Sun’s odds from $1.60 to $1.40 for the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Royal Randwick on March 9 and from $4.50 to $3.50 for the $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 6.
Waller said The Autumn Sun’s autumn campaign has not been determined beyond the Randwick Guineas.
“The Randwick Guineas is the race he has been set for,’’ Messara said.
“He’s won a Group 1 in Queensland as a two-year-old, he won Group 1 races in Sydney and Melbourne last spring and now we are hoping he can do that in the autumn.
“A lot of stallions make it in one season but he is doing it over three preparations. Hopefully there might be four or five preparations if we talk nicely to the owners in Hong Kong and Mr (John) Messara.’’
Waller would like to persuade the owners to take The Autumn Sun overseas to race at Royal Ascot in June. “He’s the perfect horse to take on the world,’’ Waller said. “But there is some business to be done in the autumn first.’’ – Ray Thomas, The Daily Telegraph