The Autumn Sun has a big reputation – he has been tipped in some quarters as the horse to end stablemate Winx’s sensational winning run – and on Saturday he showcased his talents with a stunning last-to-first victory in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes at Rosehill.
Having been settled at the back of the nine-runner field by Kerrin McEvoy, The Autumn Sun was still stone last as the field entered the home straight. Once McEvoy switched his mount to the outside, The Autumn Sun made relentless headway to pass all his rivals, powering home to defeat Zousain by a head, with Graff three-quarters of a length away on third.
There is every reason for trainer Chris Waller and connections to be excited by The Autumn Sun, a son of Arrowfield Stud’s leading sire Redoute’s Choice, bred in partnership by Arrowfield and the Aga Khan Studs.
He is out of the unraced Galileo mare Azmiyna, herself a half-sister to four-time Group 1 winner Azamour, while further back it is the family of Prix Ganay scorer Astarabad. Offered at last year’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, he was an A$700,000 purchase for his owners Hermitage Syndicate.
Jungle Cat carries on winning thread
Last seen winning the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in March, Charlie Appleby’s Jungle Cat made it back-to-back Group 1 victories when taking the Sir Rupert Clarke at Caulfield on Saturday.
Appleby had sent the son of Iffraaj to Australia early in the hope of earning a future stud berth and the six-year-old would have impressed many onlookers, with James Doyle producing Jungle Cat with a perfectly-timed run to get the better of Dollar For Dollar by a short-head.
No plans have been made as to where Jungle Cat heads next but based on his performance on Saturday, he’ll be in the mix for more top-level events in Australia.
Melody Belle’s winning tune
Talented mare Melody Belle made it two from three in the Hawke’s Bay triple crown when backing up her success in the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy with a dominant victory in the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate at Hastings on Saturday.
Under jockey Shafiq Rusof, who used the mare’s speed from barrier one to get behind the pacemakers Contessa Vanessa and Sensible Princess, Melody Belle was released and left her rivals struggling to make up ground.
From there Melody Belle was always in control and sauntered home to win by a cosy length and three-quarters from Savvy Coup, with Wyndspelle a further length and a quarter back in third.
A NZ$57,500 purchase from the 2016 National Yearling Sale by Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis, trainer Jamie Richards has not ruled out Melody Belle attempting to become the first horse to win the Hawkes Bay triple crown.
Drama in Cotillion Stakes
Midnight Bisou was awarded the Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes at Parx on Saturday when first past the post Monomoy Girl was disqualified for interference and placed second.
Monomoy Girl under Florent Geroux had taken the lead into the home stretch but Mike Smith aboard Midnight Bisou had not given up. As Monomoy Girl drifted in, forcing Smith and Midnight Bisou to the outside, she continued to force the pair wider until crossing the line.
It was the first defeat of Monomoy Girl’s season but for Midnight Bisou, trained by Steve Asmussen, this was a second elite-level victory to go alongside her win in the Santa Anita Oaks in April.
Just over 40 minutes later, Smith was back in the winner’s enclosure after guiding the Bob Baffert-trained Mckinzie to victory in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby.
It was the colt’s first start since being sidelined in March and the son of Street Sense underlined why he is highly thought of by Baffert with a dominant success.
Young Rascal back on track
Having last been seen finishing a disappointing seventh behind Masar in the Derby, the William Haggas-trained Young Rascal returned to winning ways in the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.
Tracking leader Mirage Dancer throughout the contest, Young Rascal was asked to make a strong challenge by jockey Jim Crowley a furlong from home. Responding to those urgings, the son of Intello got up in the final stride to win by a short-head.
Haggas’ day got even better when Queen Of Bermuda ran out a ready winner of the Group 3 Firth Of Clyde Stakes at Ayr.
The daughter of Exceed And Excel, last seen finishing second to Soldier’s Call in the Group 3 Prix d’Arenberg, was an impressive two-length winner and looks to be on an upward curve.
The John Gosden-trained Kessaar took the spoils in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury under a pillar-to-post ride from Frankie Dettori.
The son of Kodiac, who joins a roll of honour that includes subsequent multiple Group 1 winners Ribchester and Harry Angel, responded well when challenged by the Karl Burke-trained True Mason in the closing stages, pulling away to score by two and three quarter lengths.
The Richard Fahey-trained Mr Lupton came out on top in the Group 3 Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes later on the card, getting the better of the David Griffiths-trained Take Cover – the popular 11-year-old was retired after the race.
Khan rises to the occasion
All eyes were on Andreas Wohler’s new recruit Torcedor in the Group 1 Preis von Europa at Cologne on Sunday but it was the Henk Grewe-trained Khan who spoiled the party with an emphatic six-length success.
While Walsingham and Windstoss began to tire after challenging Khan, the son of Santiago kept responding and pulled clear to record a memorable success.