Chris Waller witnessed his prized three-year-old colts Lean Mean Machine and Zousain beaten at their return runs in 2019but the best of them all, The Autumn Sun, maintained his excellent winning record in Saturday’s $400,0000 Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill.
The Hobartville Stakes shaped as a banana skin for Australia’s championthree-year-old colt, returning to competitive racing for the first time since his four-and-a-half-length victory in the $2 million G1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last October.
Rosehill was rated a Soft (7) and the only time The Autumn Sun was previously beaten came first-up last campaign when horrendously unlucky on a Heavy (8) track in September’s $200,000 G2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m).
And the Hobartville was run in a manner that didn’t suit The Autumn Sun. His two main dangers, Vegadaze ($3.70) and Bondi ($9), established a slow pace in the lead with The Autumn Sun ($1.55 favourite) settling last on the rail in the field of six under Kerrin McEvoy.
McEvoy moved his mount widest of all at the top of the straight and The Autumn Sun gradually wilted away Vegadaze’s advantage to score by a long neck at the finish.
“It was a good win and that’s all he needed to do in my eyes,” Waller told SKY Thoroughbred Central.
“You never know where a horse is until they have their first-up run and then obviously running on a pretty wet track today, it was testing and probably took a bit of his acceleration away.
“On these types of tracks, and as we’ve seen today, it’s hard to make ground.
“That run will top him off nicely for the Randwick Guineas in two weeks’ time.
“Watch out when he gets back on a good track next start.”
The Autumn Sun has raced seven times for six wins, winning three Group 1 races – the J.J. Atkins, Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas.
“Lots of stallions make it over one season, he’s done it over three preparations,” Waller said.
The Autumn Sun firmed from $1.60 to $1.40 to win the $1m Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on Saturday, March 9.
The son of Redoute’s Choice also tightened to $3.50 to win the $3m G1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday, April 6. Racing.com