Touch of Winx about Sun’s awesome win
If Winx is the world's best racehorse, then The Autumn Sun might be next best.
Because it took a Winx-like effort from The Autumn Sun to score a sensational win the Group 1 $1 million Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The Autumn Sun was at least 12 lengths from the leaders at the 600m and still eight lengths behind at the 400m.
Part-owner John Messara admitted he had sold out, trainer Chris Waller closed his eyes, and jockey Kerrin McEvoy knew it would take a champion to win.
The Autumn Sun duly delivered, unleashing an astonishing finishing burst to run down Fundamentalist in the final few bounds.
Messara, his enthusiasm understandable given The Autumn Sun's improbable win, was moved to say: "He's Australia's Frankel!" in reference to the English superstar, who was unbeaten in 14 starts during his stellar career in the UK before becoming a top stallion.
The Autumn Sun is said to be worth a massive $50 million and his reputation is getting bigger with every race.
Waller was asked the obvious question: "Would The Autumn Sun take on Winx this autumn?"
Winx is expected to go to the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 23. The Autumn Sun could go the Ryder or either the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) or the Ranvet Stakes (2000m) the same day.
Waller admitted he would need to discuss race options with the owners of both horses but then made a telling assessment of three-year-old The Autumn Sun.
"The exciting thing about this horse is he's not mature yet,'' Waller said.
"That is the next question you have to ask: 'Do you want an immature horse taking on the world's best racehorse or for it to be around for a bit longer'.''
Messara has said previously he did not believe The Autumn Sun could beat Winx and was reluctant to race his superstar colt against the great mare. But even Messara must be having second thoughts after The Autumn Sun's incredible win.
"I don't know about taking on Winx, she is one of the greatest we have ever seen,'' Messara said. "We need to talk to Chris and what is best for the colt.''
The Autumn Sun will eventually be retired to stand at Messara's Arrowfield Stud with most expecting the colt to finish his race career this season.
But Waller's comments that That Autumn Sun is winning despite immaturity suggests the colt will be even better as a four-year-old.
"We will have to think about racing on with The Autumn Sun next season,'' Messara said.
"This is obviously a very special horse, I can't believe what he has just done.''
The Autumn Sun ($1.80) unleashed late to run down the unlucky Fundamentalist ($15) to win by a long head with Nakeeta Jane ($3.70) a length away third.
Even Waller was in disbelief after The Autumn Sun turned imminent defeat into an improbable win.
"If I didn't train Winx I wouldn't have believed that performance but she probably desensitised the emotion of these big race wins,'' Waller said. "Full credit to The Autumn Sun, he's the next shining star. I can't tell you how good he is.''
Champion jockey Kerrin McEvoy admitted he could not find enough superlatives to describe The Autumn Sun's win.
"What an effort by this colt, he needed to be outstanding today and he was,'' McEvoy said.
"I was on the back of J Mac (James McDonald, rider of Aramayo) and I thought 'I've got to get into it,' I was too far back.
"They were putting the race on solidly from the half mile (a800m) and he was in a nice rhythm but at the 600m I thought 'far out, I'm a long way off them.'
"At the 400m I asked him for a supreme effort and that's exactly what he gave me. I knew my fellow was going to really finish strong and that's exactly what he did. He ate up the big spacious Randwick straight and really flew the last bit.
"He is (a superstar) for sure. He's got a great temperament and it's going to be great to see him race on - or I'd like to see him race on."
So would all Australian race fans. With Winx soon to be retired, her heir apparent has been declared - The Autumn Sun.