It took the length of the straight for The Autumn Sun to catch the rapidly improving Vegadaze but the colt did and claimed the $400,000, Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday overcoming a Soft 7 track in the process to frank the quality of the win.
The Autumn Sun and Kerrin McEvoy, picture Sportpix.com.au
As expected the Anthony Cummings trained Vegadaze under Tim Clark were out well from the barriers and led comfortably across the top with the well-backed $1.50 favourite The Autumn Sun and Kerrin McEvoy at the back of the six strong field racing inside Rancho Notorious and Sam Clipperton.
At the top of the main straight Vegadaze was leading with Bondi and Blake Shinn trying to pressure, but all eyes were on The Autumn Sun and McEvoy as they went wide to the middle of the track as they set off after the leader.
That was harder than it looked and the punters who wagered $18,000 and $10,000 at $1.55 on The Autumn Sun only moments before the off might have started to question their judgment.
Vegadaze had beaten off the Bondi challenge and the gelding was not letting up racing against the rails. Passing the 300m there was 2L from Vegadaze to The Autumn Sun and that margin naggingly stayed the same through the 200m and 100m. McEvoy worked on The Autumn Sun and finally the Redoute’s Choice colt lengthened again and over the final 50m he quickly reeled in Vegadaze for the win.
Anthony Cummings said of his charge; “It took a good colt to beat him.”
That summed up the effort with this race being The Autumn Sun’s first race back and Vegadaze’s fourth and both will meet again in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 9th.
The margin was a long neck to Vegadaze (Lope de Vega) with 1 3/4L to Bondi (Snitzel) with Purple Sector (NZ) fourth.
The time was 1.24.64 with the final 600m in 34.66.
Vegadaze and Tim Clark on the rails led for all but the final metres, picture Sportpix.com.au
“It was a good win and that was all he needed to do in my eyes, it will just top him off nicely for the Randwick Guineas in two weeks’ time,” said Waller.
“You never know where a horse is until their first up run especially running on a pretty wet track today. It was testing and probably took a little bit of his brilliance away, watch out when he gets back on a good track again.
“On these types of tracks it is hard to make up ground and it is what good horses do,” he said.
“Pleased to get that win, it was not all going our way early,” said McEvoy.
“He began just okay and the pace was only medium. I travelled nicely but I put myself in a position when I was asking him to quicken when they were quickening and he just found the ground a little bit against him when I asked him. But he was always going to get there, it just took him a while to get there in that ground.
“I think his sectionals will show he was slick on what I feel is heavy ground, he is obviously a smart colt and I cannot wait to get him over a little bit further now at a big track at Randwick on hopefully dry ground.
“We could see a lovely colt in action again in couple of weeks’ time,” he said
The Autumn Sun, out of the Galileo mare Azmiyna, has now won six of his seven starts with all but his first two starts at black type level including three Group 1’s. Owned by Arrowfield Stud and Hong Kong based Hermitage Group he has earned stakes of $2,551,121.
McEvoy salutes, picture Sportpix.com.au
Hobartville Stakes, photo finish picture ATC