Once in a generation: The Autumn Sun Wins the Caufield Guineas with James McDonald in the saddle (AAP)

The Autumn Sun is a colt for all seasons

March 8 2019

The Autumn Sun can confirm himself as the best of his generation in Saturday’s Randwick Guineas and further his unique record.

He is already the only horse to win group 1s at three different carnivals against his own age as a two-year-old and three-year-old.

He will join Octagonal, who also took a Cox Plate and Tancred Stakes against older horses, on four group 1s against his own age at two and three, a mark also shared by It’s A Dundeel, which swept the Sydney triple crown after winning the Spring Champion Stakes.

Champion three-year-olds Weekend Hussler and Pierro won six and five by the end of their classic year but only won three against their own age group.

Weekend Hussler is the only horse to complete the Caulfield-Randwick Guineas double.

The Autumn Sun might be at the top of this class by the end of the season.

He won the JJ Atkins at Brisbane’s winter carnival, one of only five group 1s available to juveniles, before taking the premier three-year-old group 1s in Sydney and Melbourne in spring – the Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas – which had only been achieved by In Top Swing.

The Redoute’s Choice colt has been potent against his own age and if he wins on Saturday will chase the half-dozen group 1s won by Octagonal and Weekend Hussler, which are both Guineas winners, before the end of his classic year.

He will look to continue his dominance at the mile journey in the Randwick Guineas, where he is a $1.55 chance, which makes him the shortest-price favourite since Octagonal, which was also two-year-old group 1 winner, in 1996.

Premier trainer Chris Waller believes The Autumn Sun, which resumed with a sweeping Hobartville Stakes win two weeks ago, will be even better served on firm ground.

“He has come through his first-up run very well. I am hoping that we get a better track on Saturday,” Waller said. “Not that he doesn’t handle the wet, but I think he is a little more effective and gets his chance to show his brilliance on the good track.

“He had a quiet week following his first-up win and that has seen him return to his racing weight. In fact, he goes into Saturday’s race a couple of kilos heavier, as well as being fitter.”

The arrogant style of his Caulfield Guineas victory, where he spaced his rivals despite a wide run, suggests The Autumn Sun will be at his best over the testing Randwick mile.

“The mile will be no problem to him and barrier four looks an ideal gate, and his work through the week has been excellent,” Waller said.

“It was great to see him show a bit of speed and quicken at several points through the gallop [with raceday partner Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle on Tuesday], showing that he is a very responsive horse and hence the reason why he is such an exciting racehorse.”

The Autumn Sun is the only colt to win a group 1 against his own age in the past year as the fillies have dominated the boys when they have met.

He faces the challenge of Nakeeta Jane, which comes off winning her group 1 in the Surround Stakes last weekend, while the Surround runner-up Fundamentalist will hope to add a win to her four group 1 placings.

Waller was not concerned about the opposition in the Randwick Guineas and believes The Autumn Sun is dynamic enough to win over the trip. He compared him to Winx in his racing style.

The pair might meet later in the autumn given that The Autumn Sun is likely to step up to weight-for-age after Saturday.

“If anything, I’ve got a point to prove to people — to show he’s sharper than what people think,” Waller said.

“He’s just like Winx. You put him in a high-pressure race over 1200m, he’ll be delivering. He’s got that much speed and it’s sitting there waiting to be under pressure.”

– Chris Roots, The Sydney Morning Herald