Sydney star impresses, draws perfectly for Guineas
THE Autumn Sun's vice-like grip on Saturday's $2 million Caulfield Guineas looked to tighten even further when the boom colt drew perfectly in barrier 5.
Just hours after taking his first look at the track, in a strong and positive gallop on the course proper with stablemate D'Argento, the Chris Waller-trained horse found the perfect alley at the Caulfield Guineas barrier draw on Tuesday.
While the son of Redoute's Choice will likely settle back in the run, jockey James McDonald will be able to give the last-start Golden Rose winner the perfect run.
Darren Weir's pair Leonardo da Hinchi and Native Soldier drew barriers 10 and 4 respectively, Mick Price's Tavisan will jump from 9, and James Cummings' luckless runner from last Saturday Ranier drew awkwardly in 15.
The only filly of the race, Tony McEvoy's Oohood, will jump from barrier 6.
Thousand Guineas favourite, Kris Lees' filly Smart Melody drew perfectly in barrier 2, while Waller's Fiesta drew alongside in barrier 3.
The Autumn Sun, who won the Golden Rose in devastating fashion last start, worked alongside stablemate D'Argento in a gallop down the Caulfield straight, and importantly had no issue with the track.
"(He was) perfect," a delighted Waller said.
"James McDonald was on board and he said (he was) on the right legs at the right time and did everything right."
"We are very aware that some Sydney horses struggle at Caulfield for the first time. We have thought about that probably six weeks ago, so he has done a lot of galloping left-handed.
"This morning was basically just to give him a look at the layout of the track and to get familiar with the place."
2: The August
3: Mr Exclusive
4: Native Soldier
5: The Autumn Sun
8: Ragged Rascal
10: Leonardo da Hinchi
11: Gem Song
14: Good'N' Fast
"He was relaxed in the work and after the work. It looked pretty straight forward. He is a very professional horse, you will see that the more you watch him. (He) takes everything in his stride, he's not a horse that worries about anything and that is a big attribute for him."
When asked if the Redoute's Choice colt - who can further enhance his already $20 million-plus stud value with victory on Saturday - was the most exciting horse in his stable apart from wonder mare Winx, Waller said he had a significant upside.
"It would be hard to be detrimental to other horses in the stable but he has the potential to be a very good horse," Waller said.
"He has the potential to give us something beyond Winx, whenever that may be."
He suggested it was more unlikely than likely that the colt would go to the $5 million Cox Plate at The Valley following Saturday's race.
James McDonald was delighted with the work from The Autumn Sun, who will partner him on Saturday, and was eagerly looking forward to the Guineas.
"He was really well balanced around the bends which was important," McDonald said.
"I know obviously galloping trackwork is a bit different to race pressure, but I was pretty happy with the way he got around the bends."
"He finished off his work really nicely."
Waller brought a small team of horses to Caulfield on Tuesday morning, including Caulfield Stakes contenders Unforgotten and D'Argento, Thousand Guineas hope Fiesta and Toorak Handicap chance Noire.