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Sun Shines for the Rose

The hugely exciting three-year-old The Autumn Sun landed the second Group 1 race of his short career with a scintillating last to first victory in the Golden Rose on Saturday.

With just five starts under his belt, The Autumn Sun went undefeated as a juvenile, winning three races culminating in the Group 1 JJ Atkins Stakes. His only defeat came at his first start as a three-year-old when desperately unlucky after being checked out of a gap.

His Golden Rose victory was a performance that had to be seen to be believed as Kerrin McEvoy dropped to last from his outside barrier draw on The Autumn Sun. At the 300m mark the pair made their way to the outside with many lengths to make up and the gun colt let down an astonishing sprint to grab stablemate Zousain in the shadows of the post.

Trainer Chris Waller was simplistic in his overall appraisal of the race.

“I don’t need to say too much. The Autumn Sun is a very good horse, as you saw.

“When the draw came out and he was 11 of 11. It wasn’t going to be easy but I’d rather him out there because I know how good he is.

“But I kept thinking, ‘Please Kerrin, get to the outside’ when they came into the straight.

“I thought the stablemate (Zousain) was home. He looked every bit like his dad Zoustar surging to the front in the same race (five years ago).

“In the last 200m you realise they’re my ‘boys’ and they are going to fight out the finish. But I think Zousain has been beaten by a pretty special colt in The Autumn Sun.”

McEvoy was also full admiration for the colt and expects him to be better with more distance.

“This colt took all before him in Brisbane then was desperately unlucky last start first-up, but well played to Chris and the team – they put blinkers on him today and it has worked,” McEvoy said.

“He had to do it all, he was still last at the 300m but what a powerful engine he’s got.

“To do that in what I really think is below his best trip shows how classy he is.

“You can argue that some of those (rivals) are six or seven-furlong colts racing over their best trip, where we really feel this horse is a miler-2000m horse.

“I think that’s where his future lies, but a stunning colt to ride. He’s got a great attitude and a great temperament and I’m thrilled to be on his back.”

The performance of the runner-up Zousain was full of merit as he surged to the front only to be gunned down late by his stablemate. Comparisons to his sire Zoustar have always been made and this colt will now try to win the Group 1 Coolmore Stakes, as his father did.

“Zoustar had a little more time between the Golden Rose and the Coolmore so we ran him in the Roman Consul Stakes in between,” Waller said.

“But the Roman Consul is only two weeks away so we will have to think about the program we set Zousain.”

Zousain was purchased by Mulcaster Bloodstock in conjunction with David Redvers of Qatar Bloodstock from Edinglassie at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Selected by Mulcaster Bloodstock for Hermitage Thoroughbreds, the first horse purchased for Hermitage by Mulcaster Bloodstock, The Autumn Sun was bought from Arrowfield Stud at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. The colt was bred by Arrowfield Stud and The Aga Khan Studs.

The colt by champion sire Redoute’s Choice is from an Aga Khan family with his dam a half-sister, Azmiyna (Galileo), to champion racehorse and successful sire Azamour.