The striking Redoute's Choice colt The Autumn Sun took his place at the top of the most desirable stallion prospects in the land when he came from last to overhaul his stablemate Zousain in Saturday's $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose at Rosehill Gardens.
Given an ice-cold ride by Kerrin McEvoy, The Autumn Sun charged home over the last 250 metres to defeat Zousain (Zoustar) by a short-neck with the favourite Graff (Star Witness) three-quarter of a length back in third. (photos Steve Hart)
Winner of the $600,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins Plate (1600m) at Doomben last season at two, the Chris Waller-trained colt advances his record to 4 wins and 1 third from 5 starts with earnings of $1,113,021.
'I guess I don't have to say too much, he's a very good horse. When the draw came out and he drew 11 of 11 it wasn't going to be easy," Waller said.
"I know how good he is and for him to finish off over the top it was very special.
"He had no luck last start the racing gods were against him and he should be unbeaten. His class prevailed on a better track.
"He is a derby horse and the owners are hell-bent on winning a derby so that comes first and foremost. However, his value will skyrocket after today. I will be pushing not to rush him in the spring derby because it comes up so quick and it's a long way for a young horse so we will see who has the final say the owner or the trainer."
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 Azmiyna's filly by Snitzel for $1.3 million at this year's Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
Azmiyna has a yearling colt by Not a Single Doubt and was covered last spring by Snitzel.
One of 33 Group 1 winners for his sire, The Autumn Sun comes from the 15th crop of the breed-shaper Redoute's Choice who stands his 19th season at Arrowfield Stud this spring at a fee of $137,500.