Bay mare (1995 - 2009), Desert Sun - Songline - Inducted in 2002
Sunline won a record number of Horse of the Year awards - four in New Zealand and three in Australia.
TRAINER: JTrevor and Stephen McKee
OWNERS: Trevor McKee, Thayne Green, Helen Lusty
RACE RECORD/STAKE MONEY: 48 starts: 32 wins, 9 seconds, 3 thirds/$11,351,607
During her six seasons on the racetrack, Sunline was the darling of the racing public. Australia Post even put her image on a postage stamp, one of the few horses so honoured. But her ability and achievements were matched by a cranky temperament. Attendant and track-work rider, Claire Bird said of her: "She's not a vicious horse, but you could describe her as a moody woman".
After winning four races from four starts in New Zealand, she ventured to Australia as a three-year-old in 1999 and made an immediate impact. In the spring she won the Group 1 Flight Stakes, and in the autumn of 2000 followed up by winning Australia's premier mile contest, the Doncaster Handicap, a race she was to win again in 2002.
Throughout her career, Sunline was equally at home under handicap or weight-for-age conditions, or on wet or dry tracks. She liked to establish an early lead, and then burn off the opposition with a sustained high speed burst in the middle and closing stages of a race.
In the spring of 1999 Sunline won her first W.S. Cox Plate, a feat she repeated in 2000 when she ploughed through the mud to defeat Caulfield Cup winner, Diatribe, by a record seven length margin.
In the 2000-1 season Sunline established her champion credentials abroad by winning the Hong Kong Mile at Shatin and running a close third in the Dubai Duty Free behind Jim and Tonic and Fairy King Prawn.
When she retired in 2002 Sunline had 13 Group 1 wins to her credit, and the then record Australian stake winnings of $11,351,607.
She was sadly laid to rest in 2009 after a long battle with the laminitis, a deliberating hoof disease.
Sunline was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2002.
Image Source: Slickpix
Induction into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame is the industry's highest accolade.
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