Groundswell winning at Geelong (Image: Racing Photos)

Messara gets late Guineas chance

October 11 2019

It was just 12 months ago that The Autumn Sun stamped himself as a colt of rare ability with his Caulfield Guineas romp and remarkably for his owner John Messara, there is a more than just a hint of history repeating before Saturday’s $2 million classic.

The scratching of The Holy One on Friday morning from the Caulfield Guineas has opened up a spot in the field for second emergency Groundswell to start and, it is fair to say a Caulfield Guineas win for this thoroughbred blueblood would confirm him as a future stallion just as it did for The Autumn Sun a year ago.

Groundswell surely has the breeding to win a Guineas. A sale-topping $2.3 million yearling, he is by Fastnet Rock out of The Broken Shore, who has already produced Group 1 winner Shoals, but more than that, is a half-sister to Messara’s former champion sire Redoute’s Choice, who died in March at the age of 22.

“It’s exciting,” Messara said on hearing the news Groundswell has made the Guineas line-up.

“He’s been a bit slow to mature mentally but he is catching up fast.

“We’re pretty happy with him. We are thinking he is going to acquit himself very well tomorrow.

“He’s moving forward in leaps and bounds. He’s on an upwards trajectory. If things go his way, he’ll be in the thick of things tomorrow.

“It would be wonderful if it happens.”

Messara and fellow high-end owner Jonathan Munz purchased The Broken Shore for $1.8m and are creating a dynasty from the mare who, as well as Shoals, has also produced the handy mare Tides.

She also has a two-year-old by Medaglia D’Oro and a yearling Fastnet Rock filly.

Groundswell’s emergence when a last-start third in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude has Messara thinking of 12 months ago when The Autumn Sun thrashed fellow three-year-olds to take the classic – the first of three he would take in his three-year-old year.

The Autumn Sun was retired immediately after winning the Rosehill Guineas in March and began stud duties at Arrowfield Stud this spring at a whopping fee of $77,000.

“He’s going well,” Messara said of the five-time Group 1 winner’s first few months in the breeding barn. “He’s got a very nice book of 160 mares, which is all we can take at this stage and it’s more than enough I think for a first-season sire.

“Importantly, he’s got tremendous quality amongst his mares so he’s certainly going to get his chance at stud.”

– Andrew Eddy,