Tulsi claims victory on debut at Tauherenikau Photo Credit: Race Images – Peter Rubery

First Winner for The Autumn Sun

February 6, 2023

Arrowfield Stud’s promising young sire The Autumn Sun is on the board with his first winner and interestingly Tulsi was also the most expensive filly purchased from the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale last year when snapped up by Glenn Burrows Bloodstock for $550,000.

Race favourite Tulsi justified some inspired support when she made a successful debut at Tauherenikau in New Zealand on Monday.

The Johno Benner and Hollie Wynyard-trained juvenile had won a trial in impressive fashion at Foxton last month, with punters seeing enough to install her the $2.10 favourite for the 1000m two-year-old dash, with Michael McNab aboard.

McNab bounced the filly away well but elected to take cover as the early pace was disputed by stablemates Lincoln Towers and Get Funky.

McNab swooped wide on the corner and under a vigorous ride Tulsi unleashed a powerful finishing burst to take the victory by a head.

Raced by Gary Harding after she was purchased from the Valiant Stud draft at the 2022 Inglis Classic Sale on his behalf by Glenn Burrows Bloodstock for $550,000, Tulsi looks to have a bright future ahead of her, an opinion shared by Benner.

“She looks and raced like a true professional, which was great to see as she was up against a field that had plenty of raceday experience,” Benner said.

“She has improved after her trials and what she has done today suggests there is plenty of ability there.

“She is a very laid back filly who is built more like a colt, but I loved just how relaxed she was before the race and again when she pulled up.”

Benner is keen to lift his sights for his charge who the stable had identified as a stakes contender some time ago.

“We thought we had a good one on our hands so we have taken a patient approach with her as I believe whatever she does at two, she will be even better next season,” he said.

“We have just ticked her along and now she has that experience under her belt we will see how she pulls up before deciding where to next, but a race like the Sires’ Produce (Gr.1, 1400m) at Awapuni is not out of the question.

“I think she will definitely get a mile as a three-year-old but for the time being we will just let her tell us how far we can go in this campaign.”

Tulsi is the first winner for Lonhro mare Talimena, a winning half-sister to Group I ATC Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi and stakes-winner Cossetot from the family of Group I winners Denman and Preserve.

Talimena was one of 159 mares covered last spring by The Autumn Sun.

Tulsi is the first winner for Arrowfield Stud’s champion Redoute’s Choice son The Autumn Sun, who has 15 entries for Inglis Classic, which kicks off this Sunday in Sydney.

-Tara Madgwick