Race favourite The Autumn Sun drew a handy barrier when the final field was released for the 2018 Group 1 $2m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Autumn Sun drew barrier five in the final fifteen horse Caulfield Guineas field with James McDonald taking over from Kerrin McEvoy on the Chris Waller trained colt.
McEvoy had been aboard The Autumn Sun’s for four of his five race starts and includes wins in the Group 1 $600,000 Jaguar Land Rover J.J. Atkins Plate (1600m) at Doomben during the 2018 Brisbane Carnival and in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill last start on September 22.
Waller took The Autumn Sun to have a look at the Caulfield track this morning and with McDonald in the saddle seemed to handle the tricky track with ease.
“He was very balanced around the bend, which is pretty important,” McDonald told racing.com.
“I know galloping trackwork is different to race pressure but I was pretty happy with the way he got around the bend. His leads were really good and he finished off his work really nice. I couldn’t be more pleased really.
“He’s got the form on the board. He’s beaten the best in Sydney. He was there to be beaten too. He overcame obstacles.
“He won really well that day when he came from an impossible position and still rallied.
“I thought Zousain was home that day and I couldn’t believe he still picked him up. He’s definitely got a lot of class.”
The lightly raced The Autumn Sun is already a two times Group 1 winner and Waller has already rated the Redoute’s Choice colt up with the best horses he has trained.
“He’s very good and how far we go, I don’t know in terms of his rating, but he’s right up there with the best horses I’ve had,” Waller said on Tuesday morning.
“At this early stage, at what I would call an immature three-year-old, I think he’s still got a lot more to offer. It’s very exciting.”
The Autumn Sun has been installed as the $1.95 favourite for the Caulfield Guineas at Ladbrokes.com.au while Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir will saddle up the next two in the betting, Native Soldier at $7 and Leonardo Da Hinchi at $8.
Native Soldier has drawn barrier four with apprentice Ben Allen in the saddle while Leonardo Da Hinchi will jump from gate ten for Brad Rawiller.
Both the Weir runners are last start winners with Native Soldier leading all of the way in the Group 3 $175,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 30 while Leonardo Da Hinchi proved too strong for the opposition in the Group 2 $200,000 Carlton Draught Stutt Stakes (1600m) The Valley on September 28.
Oohood is the only filly in the Caulfield Guineas and trainer Tony McEvoy is not frightened to take on the boys after his filly broke through for her main win against the fillies in the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 29.
Luke Currie replaces Flight Stakes winning jockey Tim Clark on Oohood who has drawn nicely at barrier six.