Veteran hoop Jim Byrne will chase a fourth...
Three-time Group 1 winner The Autumn Sun has opened as the favourite following yesterday’s announcement of Rosehill’s new $7.5 million race, The Golden Eagle (1500m).
Set to rival Victoria Derby Day on November 2, The Autumn Sun is the $2.80 favourite with Ladbrokes on the first line of betting.
Chris Waller’s three-year old pooled over $3 million in prize-money this Spring winning consecutive Group 1 starts, including the Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) and the Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
But as enticing as The Golden Eagle prize-money is, part-owner Oliver Koolman still thinks connections will target next year’s Cox Plate (2040m).
“The Spring will probably be the Cox Plate, and the new race would be the B-plan if something went wrong and he missed something preparing for a Cox Plate” Koolman told Sky Racing on Thursday.
“He’s beaten them at two (year’s old) at Group 1 level, three at Group 1 level over distances at 1400m and 1600m, and whilst that appears to be nice at this stage, we’d like to see him step out to 2000m if we’re going to train him on.”
With mighty mare Winx’s future still uncertain, the path looks clear for The Autumn Sun to contest Moonee Valley’s richest race.
In the meantime, Koolman has his sights set on the Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 9, but admits there’s very few boxes left to tick.
“He probably doesn’t need to do a hell of a lot more than he’s already done, there’s only a couple things on the bucket list and that is to see him stretched out to a mile and a quarter, and then send him out to stud.”
The Autumn Sun is the $6.00 favourite with Ladbrokes ahead of next year’s Cox Plate, followed by international raider Benbatl ($16) and Darren Weir’s six-year old veteran Humidor ($21).
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