decision is yet to be made, Sunline must run in this years Cox Plate at Moonee
After her runaway six and a half length win
in Saturdays All-Aged Stakes at Randwick she left little doubt her form was as good
In giving the mare another tilt at the Cox Plate trainer
Trevor McKee might also be helping the racing fraternity decide just how good this wonder
mare from across the Tasman really is.
Debate is continuing to rage whether Sunline is the best
mare ever to race in Australasia, whether she is as good as Kingston Town, and even if she
ranks in the top three gallopers weve ever seen grace our turf, ever.
Although her six and a half length win was somewhat spine
tingling the champion hare HAD to win. Could you imagine the negative press she would have
received had she not got to the line first in the All-Aged.
There are those out there now who are just hanging for the
moment when the famous mare falters - if she ever will, to demand her retirement from
racings most elite level.
They say in racing there is never such a thing as a
certainty. But on Saturday there was one - aside from tragedy (and thank goodness that
didnt happen) Sunlines name was etched on the trophy well before the time the
field jumped away late in the afternoon. There was no way she could be beaten. Even though
she didnt have much peace up at the head of the field with the speedy Mowerman
cutting loose early, Greg Childs judged the situation perfectly and kept to mare in cruise
mode before asking for her to accelerate at the top of the home straight.
On Saturday Sunline ran a faster time than she did in
narrowly downing Shogun Lodge in the Doncaster Handicap seven days earlier at the same
For mine theres little doubt Sunline is racing as
good as ever. Sure she probably isnt quite as brilliant as the day she slaughtered
the field on her way to a second Cox Plate, but dont forget everything is meant to
slow down and slowly deteriorate when it gets a bit older.
These days it just appears Sunline is like a classic racing
car. With a quick oil change and a capable driver she just cruises and when the
accelerator is reached for she finds. And usually Trevor McKee has the ideal amount of
petrol in the daughter of Desert Sun.
Melbourne racing fans are desperate to have Sunline race at
the tracks again this spring. And why wouldnt they head in that direction.
Her owners, McKee, Thayne Green and Helen Lusty have no
breeding ambitions and they have already said they will sell the mare when her racing days
are over. So why not race on?
Some may think if Sunline does race on and she is beaten
some of her amazing glow and gloss may be lost. But hey what the heck - the gloss
isnt needed for her breeding career as Lusty, Green and McKee arent the least
bit worried about her breeding days. Sure they would like to see her have every chance and
produce a champion - but a few more starts wont change a lot. Sure she would miss
the 2002 breeding season, but then she will have the opportunity to properly let down
before she visits one of the worlds leading stallions. Plus there is every chance
she could head for a northern hemisphere career at stud - two of the leading buyers at
last weeks yearling sales Darley and Coolmore have both famed establishments above
the equator. If that is the case then she could quite happily run in the Cox Plate at
Moonee Valley in 2002 as her swansong to what has been an incredible career.
But while the connections of Sunline have always said their
intention was not to breed with mare that fact has not been totally ruled out. Trevor
MeKee owns 50 per cent of the mare while the remaining quarters are shared shared Lusty
So lets hope the mighty mare does run again. I for
one will be an interested onlooker on THAT Saturday in October when she sets up what is
shaping as a mighty clash with the likes of established stars Northerly and Old Comrade
and others who are likely to graduate to become stars over the next few months.