Exciting two-year-old The Autumn Sun delivered on the biggest stage, winning the Group 1 JJ Atkins over 1600m at Doomben.
Despite only having two starts and never racing at stakes level, the highly-regarded The Autumn Sun started favourite for the Group 1 event following two victories at his first two starts.
“I was questioning whether at only his third start he was ready, only certain horses can take that step so quickly,” commented Chris Waller.
“Early in the day I was thinking about everything that could go wrong.
“The winner was only at his third race start just to see him dig so deep showed how smart he is.”
Rider Kerrin McEvoy settled The Autumn Sun off the pace with only four runners behind him at the 1000m mark. When produced wide in the straight, the son of Redoute’s Choice raced to victory over a very gallant Zousain, beaten only a neck.
Waller not only trained the winner but also runner-up Zousain.
“The class of the winner and of the runner-up will be seen in their future lives,” Waller said.
“Both of them will have a break and be aimed towards big Group I races in the spring, with Zousain kept for shorter distances perhaps and The Autumn Son looks a Caulfield Guineas horse.”
The first two home were both selected by Mulcaster Bloodstock in conjunction with partners last year as yearlings.
The Autumn Sun was purchased with Hermitage Thoroughbreds managed by Ollie Koolman. The son of Redoute’s Choice cost $700,000 from Arrowfield Stud at last year’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. Hermitage own the colt outright.
A three-quarter-sister to The Autumn Sun by Snitzel was purchased this year, again from Arrowfield Stud at Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, for Chris Waller.
The runner-up Zousain, a winner of the Group 2 Champagne Stakes two starts ago, was purchased with David Redvers for $400,000 from Edinglassie Stud at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and races in the colours of Qatar Bloodstock.