By Brad Gray
"He is flying"
They are the thoughts of Chris Waller regarding The Autumn Sun ahead of his return in the $400,000 G2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday. Three little words to calm the chatter around the three-year-old's latest trial.
Punters were left scratching their heads after The Autumn Sun was pushed out to run fourth behind Zousain at Rosehill on Monday last week. It wasn't particularly poor but for a horse that is billed as being the next superstar of Australian racing, more was expected from him.
"I understand," said Waller, "But fortunately training horses like Winx I don't get too wrapped up in (the talk). In my eyes he has come back better. He is a stronger horse, more mature and his attitude is great. He is sound so I know when they push the button race day it will be there."
"I went back and had a look at his two trials last preparation. He ran the day that they had the Chautauqua trial but it was a whole second slower than his trial the other day. The last 600m in his trial (on Monday) on a soft track was around 33 seconds so under pressure he'll be fine. He is a very relaxed horse and we haven't fired him up yet."
The only defeat The Autumn Sun has suffered, with five wins from six starts, was first up last campaign when he resumed in the Stan Fox. He was stopped in his tracks in the straight before picking himself up to run third behind Tarka and Dealmaker.
"The was on a heavy track, he was in a tricky spot and there was no speed. He wasn't even entitled to run where he did," reflected Waller.
Kerrin McEvoy has ridden The Autumn Sun in four of his six starts and will again ride the son of Redoute's Choice this weekend.
The Autumn Sun's latest trial - Rosehill Feb 11