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05/08/02 Desert Sun's Girl Shines Again
r6sunline.jpg (11511 bytes)Desert Sun's champion daughter Sunline has reaffirmed her status as one of the best gallopers to ever race in Australia by being announced as the country's Horse of the Year for the third straight year.

And as further recognition to her stellar career, which is entering the home straight, she became the first horse to be inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame while still in training.

In what was one of the most competitive seasons on record, Sunline scored more votes than dual Cup winner Ethereal and the Cox Plate hero Northerly is the major award of the night.

"It's a terrific honour," Sunline's elated trainer Trevor McKee said moments after she was announced as the country's best.

"It was a tough year with two other legitimate chances, but she certainly is a champion and she again emphasised that her third straight award," he added.

r6sunline2.jpg (11799 bytes)Sunline's big night didn't end there either. She also downed Ethereal is the race to be crowned the Champion Filly or Mare for the 2001/02 racing season.

It was another terrific season for the champion daughter of Eliza Park's resident stallion Desert Sun. She won three Group One races in Australia and another in New Zealand.

In Australia she won the Doncaster Handicap and Coolmore Classics with big weights and she then stormed away for a sizzling win in the All Aged Stakes, all three races in Sydney during the Autumn Carnival. Earlier in her preparation she resumed for another runaway win back in her country of birth, New Zealand.

Sunline's kick off race this year is yet to be decided. Connections are still weighing up the options of running in Melbourne, Sydney or New Zealand. It is understood Melbourne is a nose in front of Sydney at this stage.

Desert Sun, a magnificently built son of the champion sire Green Desert, has had another tremendous season.

As well as the mighty performances of the champion Sunline, he was represented by the talented Graeme Rogerson trained mare La Bella Dama. Her win in the Group Three Tesio Stakes at Moonee Valley was at her very next start sensationally topped by her dashing win in the Group One Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington.

r6sunline3.jpg (8560 bytes)Desert Sun was also responsible for one of the most exciting youngsters unearthed in New Zealand this season, the highly talented Danceinthesun. A runner-up in the Group One Sires' Produce Stakes to Grout, she had already won the Group Three Taranaki 2YO Classic and the listed Great Northern Stakes.

In Adelaide, Real Time flew the flag for Desert Sun's Australian based sons by easily taking the listed New Year's Gift earlier in the year.

With other stakes winners including Moralee, Desert Ace, Thee Old Dragon, Dazzling Belle, Blessed Sun, Maudie, Te Akau Sun, La Chamane and Egyptian Raine, there's little wonder many of the leading breeders have sent mares to the proven sire.

From the family of champion galloper and sire Cadeaux Genereux, and out of the stakes placed mare Solar, Desert Sun comes from a strong female line.

He will be standing the 2002 season at Victoria's Eliza Park near Kerrie for just $12,500 (inc GST) with a free return.

PICS - Quentin Lang.

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