From maiden to Group 1 winner in the space of six weeks, the rising young star The Autumn Sun kept his unbeaten record intact in Saturday's $600,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins Plate (1600m) at Doomben.
Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, the handsome Redoute's Choice colt defeated his Chris Waller-trained stablemate Zousain by a neck with Fundamentalist (Not A Single Doubt) a length and a quarter back in third. (photo Steve Hart)
Waller had previously won the JJ Atkins with Pressday (2010) and Press Statement (2015), with Press Statement going onto win the Caulfield Guineas as a spring three-year-old and The Autumn Sun is expected to follow a similar path.
"It was only his third start and to see him dig so deep showed just how smart he is," Waller told AAP.
"It's a Group One race with so much at stake and only certain horses can take that step so quickly and excel.
"The Autumn Sun will be a Caulfield Guineas horse and I'd say Zousain will be kept to the shorter races like the Golden Rose and Coolmore.
"This carnival is great for horses coming through and it's about gradually getting up to this Group One level and then they seem to springboard off it and catch up to other horses in the spring with confidence."
Bred by Arrowfield, the Autumn Sun was a $700,000 Inglis Easter purchase from the Arrowfield draft for Hermitage Thoroughbreds/ Waller Racing.
From a famed Aga Khan family, The Autumn Sun is the second foal of the unraced Galileo mare Azmiyna (IRE), who is a half-sister to Azamour (Night Shift).
Honoured as the Champion Older Horse in Europe, England & Ireland in 2005, Azamour's 6 wins included the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes and Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes, Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes and Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes.
Chris Waller and bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster also secured the current yearling from Azmiyna, a filly by Snitzel for $1.3 million at this year's Inglis Easter.
Azmiyna has a weanling colt by Not a Single Doubt and was covered last spring by Snitzel.
The Autumn Sun becomes the 158th stakes-winner and 33rd individual Group 1 winner for the Champion Sire, Redoute's Choice (pictured) who will stand his 19th season at Arrowfield Stud this spring at a fee of $137,500.
Mark Smith - Breednet
Jaguar Land Rover J.J. Atkins Gr1 1600m