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Sun shines in Caulfield Guineas

Cox Plate clash with champion stablemate Winx remains on the table for The Autumn Sun after he confirmed his star status with a four-and-a-half length demolition in Saturday's Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).

Chris Waller's glamour colt was posted three-wide for the entire race but jockey James McDonald was unfazed, taking the lead from Native Soldier at the 300m and racing away to put a gap on runner-up Vassilator and top filly Oohood.

It was a third Group 1 win in six starts for the son of Redoute's Choice and Waller said a decision on his next run, or whether he is sent for a spell, will be made in conjunction with the owners in the coming days.

BetEasy reacted promptly to the performance, firming The Autumn Sun into $8 second favourite for the Cox Plate, behind Winx ($8) but ahead of Ladbrokes Stakes winner Benbatl ($11) and 2017 runner-up Humidor ($15).

James McDonald signals the win, picture Quentinjlang.com

"He's a very good horse and I don't think he's fully mature yet," Waller said.

"I know everybody is dying to know whether he'll run in the Cox Plate but that will ultimately be up to the owners, Hermitage Thoroughbreds and Arrowfield Stud.

"But if he's going to be a world champion in two weeks' time, he will be in six months' time and I'm in no rush and I'll go to them next Monday or Tuesday and see what they want to do.

"I don't want to pre-empt anything because that wouldn't be fair to the punters but he won't be getting rushed off to stud."

For McDonald, it was his first Group 1 win since returning from his infamous 18-month disqualification for placing a bet on Astern in 2015 and the jockey was quick to deflect any praise for his ride to the 'superstar' horse.

And while it won't be this campaign, Waller flagged The Autumn Sun as the sort of horse that could one day be campaigned on the international stage.

"We didn't get the chance with Winx because we left it too late but I doubt we'll miss out with this bloke," he said.

McDonald and The Autumn Sun, picture Quentinjlang.com

Caulfield Guineas, photo finish picture Racing.com


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