The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice x Azmiyna) wins the G1 Rosehill Guineas. Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy. (Photo by Bronwen Healy)

Chris Waller’s The Autumn Sun retires with whopping stud fee

April 11 2019

The Autumn Sun, once rated the heir apparent to Winx on the racetrack, is now being asked to fill the massive void left by the passing of his sire, Redoute’s Choice at stud.

Owner John Messara revealed he had planned to race on with The Autumn Sun next season until super stallion Redoute’s Choice had to put down on veterinary advice two weeks ago.

Messara, who on Thursday night received one of the most prestigious honours in world racing when he given the International Award of Merit for Equine Excellence at a function in Sydney, admitted he had mixed emotions after making the announcement that The Autumn Sun has been retired.

“Obviously, there is some regret that we are not seeing The Autumn Sun race on next season,’’ Messara said.

“We were willing to have a sporting look at him next season if Redoute’s Choice did not pass.

“But The Autumn Sun has been well exposed. He ran 1m 8.6s for 1200m on debut as a two-year-old and he went right through to win over 2000m on a heavy track.

“We put this colt in proper races right through his career and he delivered in the three Guineas and the Golden Rose.

“The quality of The Autumn Sun’s race record also reflects the skill and dedication of trainer Chris Waller and his team, and we’re very grateful for their care and management of him.’’

The Autumn Sun won eight of his nine starts, five at Group 1 level and earned more than $3.4 million. He is the only horse to win the Caulfield-Randwick-Rosehill Guineas treble.

Messara and his part-owners, Hermitage Thoroughbreds, met earlier this week to consider the options for the five-time Group 1 winner before deciding to retire the superstar colt to stud.

It was determined the “opportunity to return the colt to his spiritual home and fill the gap left by the death of Redoute’s Choice proved too compelling.’’

Messara said The Autumn Sun is the best-ever three-year-old colt by Redoute’s Choice, the former champion stallion and noted sire of sires, and the chance to stand him at stud was a “irresistible prospect”.

“We backed Redoute’s Choice as a sire of sires early in his career, we stand Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt, and Beneteau was also highly successful for us,’’ Messara said.

“But I believe The Autumn Sun is the best stallion prospect by Redoute’s Choice. If ever a stallion is going to make it in Australia it is The Autumn Sun.

“He is by one of the greatest sire-makers in Redoute’s Choice out of a wonderful European family. Over the last 25 years, the Danehill and Redoute’s Choice sireline have won 19 sires premierships.

“We had some great mares going to ‘Redoute’s’ this spring and they can now go to The Autumn Sun.’’

The Autumn Sun will stand at a service fee of $77,000 at Arrowfield Stud in the Hunter Valley this spring. Meanwhile, Messara, who also retired triple Group 1-winning mare Shoals earlier this week, became the first Australian to be given the Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit at a special function in Sydney last night.

“This is a decision made by my international peers so for them to have selected me to receive the award was very humbling,’’ Messara said. “I’m extremely proud to receive the award given the racing and breeding industry is my passion.’’

– Ray Thomas, The Daily Telegraph