Chris Waller missed the chance to take on the world with Winx on foreign shores – he won’t miss the chance with rising superstar The Autumn Sun.
And Waller won’t totally rule out The Autumn Sun having an unlikely clash with wonder mare and stablemate Winx in the Cox Plate after the three-year-old colt produced an arrogant win after sitting wide in the Group I Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
It gave jockey James McDonald his first Group I win since returning from a betting ban in May and the Sydney hoop gave a jubilant salute as he crossed the line.
It was an extraordinary win as The Autumn Sun ($1.70 fav) jumped the gates but couldn’t get in and McDonald sat three-wide but romped away to win in stunning fashion by 4½ lengths over $101 outsider Vassilator.
The Autumn Sun has now won three Group Is in his six-start career and the sky looks the limit for the new superstar of Australian racing.
The TAB slashed The Autumn Sun’s Cox Plate odds from $26 to $13 and Waller left the door slightly ajar for a clash with Winx in a fortnight.
But it seems more likely he has Group I autumn glory in mind – and Waller is already thinking about taking on the world’s best overseas with The Autumn Sun.
“We didn’t get the chance (to travel overseas) with Winx, we left it too late, I doubt we will miss out with this bloke,” Waller said.
“I know everyone is dying to hear will he run in a Cox Plate? That will ultimately be up to the owners.
“If he is going to be a world champion, he would have to be to beat Winx.
“I’m in no rush and I will go to them next Monday or Tuesday and see what they want to do.
“She (Winx) hasn’t got the world’s best crown for nothing, she gets around Moonee Valley better than any other horse.
“But I’m not afraid to run my horses against her.
“I’m a punter at heart, I’m addicted to the sport and the Autumn Sun is one of the horses that make you go ‘wow’.
“Sitting wide like that would bring most horses undone, especially first time around Caulfield but it just showed how good he is.
“It was shake-your-head stuff really.
“I don’t think he is fully mature yet. I still think he is going to fill out a lot more. “
Waller even raised the possibility of a match made in heaven with the future prospect of The Autumn Sun and Winx meeting each other in the breeding barn one day.
McDonald, whose last Group I win was on Hartnell in the 2016 Turnbull Stakes, quipped it “took a good one” for him to score his latest Group I.
He predicted The Autumn Sun would be “scary” in next autumn.
“The reason why he is so good and he can absorb pressure is because he relaxes,” McDonald said.
“He is going to be scary in the autumn.
“He is still a baby.
“I wanted to be wide with cover but he jumped too well, he was first out and he has never done that in his life.
“I was worried – of course – I could feel the hands of the punters getting tighter and tighter around my neck.” – Racenet.com.au