Arrowfield Stud chairman John Messara is unlikely to line his future stallion prospect The Autumn Sun up against the world’s number one race horse Winx during the 2019 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Trainer Chris Waller will meet with Winx’s owners next week to set out an Autumn Carnival program which could see the mighty mare’s last race track appearance set down for the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 13.
Messara took control of The Autumn Sun on the eve of his win in the Group 1 $2m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 13 and the Arrowfield Stud boss said that he would also meet with Waller at the end of the week to map out an Autumn Carnival program.
Messara anticipates the The Autumn Sun will compete during the 2019 Autumn Carnival and then prepare for stud duties in the Spring, ruling out a 2019 Spring Carnival campaign.
“He may go on but at this stage of the game the inclination is stop at the end of this season,” Messara told RSN927’s Racing Pulse.
“Theoretically the plan would be at the end of his three-year-old season that he’s probably proved all he needs to prove.”
Messara is not keen for The Autumn Sun to come up against Winx in the Autumn and has already dodged a chance to take her on when he declined to run Redoute’s Choice colt in the 2018 Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley which resulted in Winx claiming her fourth straight win in the ‘Weight For Age Championship’.
“I said earlier (in the year) when we were considering the Cox Plate that we certainly don’t want to be the one that shoots Bambi (Winx) because she’s been an icon of racing in this country, created so much interest and she’s such a champion,” Messara said.
“I don’t want to see her go down and if she does go down I don’t want to be involved in it … but there may be no option of not clashing at some stage later in the autumn.”
Early markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for the 2019 Queen Elizabeth Stakes has The Autumn Sun in the betting at $7.50 behind Winx at $1.20 while in 2019 Cox Plate betting Winx is not included in the market with The Autumn Sun posted as the $6 favourite.
Winx is the winner of thirty-three of her thirty-nine race starts, her last twenty-nine in succession which includes four straight Cox Plates, while The Autumn Sun has won five of his six starts with three at Group 1 level.