The Autumn Sun produced an electrifying finish to score a last to first win in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill today.
The Chris Waller trained The Autumn Sun drew the outside barrier in the nine horse field and winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy elected to settled the colt at the tail of the field and have the last crack at the leaders in the straight.
One of the outsiders in the field Danawi ($21) found himself in front with the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Santos not far away.
McEvoy had the entire field in front of him on the turn and patiently eased The Autumn Sun to the outside to begin his brilliant finishing burst.
There were plenty of chances at the 250m mark with the Waller trained Zousain ($8) dashing to the front and was looking the winner for a long time but was run down in the last few strides by The Autumn Sun ($4.40) who was wearing the blinkers for the first time.
Third placegetter Graff was sent out as the $2.90 favourite and had a trouble free run through the race but couldn’t match it with the first two placegetters.
The Brad Widdup trained Sandbar ($16) finished fourth with Waller’s third runners Lean Mean Machine ($5.50) ending up in fifth position.
The Autumn Sun was only having his fifth race start and added today’s Group 1 win to his win in the Group 1 $600,000 Jaguar Land Rover J.J. Atkins Plate (1600m) at Doomben during the 2018 Brisbane Winter Carnival.
“He’s a very good horse, as you saw. When the draw came out he was 11 of 11 so it wasn’t going to be easy but I’d rather him there because I know how good he is and for him to finish off over the top of a good field it was pretty special,” Waller said.
“I thought the stablemate (Zousain) was home, he looked every bit of his dad Zoustar surging to the front in the same race but I think he might have been beaten by a pretty special one.”
“They’re my boys and it’s pretty special to see them fight out the finish.”
Waller said the owners were keen for The Autumn Sun to win a Derby and the champion trainer would rather bypass the Spring and wait for the 2019 Autumn Carnival before stepping the colt up to the Classic distance.
“He is a Derby horse and the owners are hellbent on winning a Derby so that obviously comes first and foremost. His value however has fortunately skyrocketed again today. He’ll have a price tag now and maybe he can tick the box of winning a Derby as well.”
“I’ll be pushing not to rush him to the spring Derby because it’s so quick, it’s a long way for a young horse. So we’ll see who gets a good say, the owner or the trainer.”