The Chris Waller trained The Autumn Sun will take a step closer to realising his potential star status in Saturday’s Hobartville Stakes (1400m).
The Autumn Sun meets a small field and tackles just eight rivals, headed by first-up Eskimo Prince Stakes winner Gem Song in the Rosehill Group 2.
The colt has had two barrier trials leading into his first start since his Caulfield Guineas win running seventh and fourth, efforts which have pleased his trainer Chris Waller.
“I think he has come back well,” Waller said. “We don’t put our horses under pressure in trials. It is race day that counts.”
Unbeaten three-year-old Vegadaze will be among his rivals, along with progressive colt Purple Sector who flashed home from near the rear for second to Gem Song in the Eskimo Prince.
Trainer John Thompson is hoping Purple Sector can continue to improve and feature during the autumn, particularly when he steps up in distance.
“He ran very well and when he gets out to a mile he’ll really come into his own,” Thompson said.
The Hobartville will be an important guide to the Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 9 with The Autumn Sun the dominant early favourite for the Group 1, ahead of Gem Song and Purple Sector.
Arrowfield Stud’s John Messara says any decision on The Autumn Sun’s other targets will not be made until after the Hobartville and the Guineas.
Messara has invested in The Autumn Sun who will be a replacement for his ageing sire Redoute’s Choice and is wary about talk of Royal Ascot with indications the colt will head to stud at the end of his three-year-old career.
“I’m not certain this is the horse we can do it (Ascot) with because he is potentially so valuable,” Messara told Sky Racing.
“We have had to pay a huge amount to buy into him. I’d be worried about the dangers, not of getting beaten so much, but of sickness, travel sickness that sort of thing happening
“He is our replacement for the great Redoute’s Choice who is a rising 22-year-old this year. Having said that, if he goes through and is very dominant it is attractive to carry on a bit.”
Arrowfield also stands champion sire Snitzel, another son of Redoute’s Choice.