Sunline defended her Memsie (Aust-II) Stakes easily enough at Melbourne's Caulfield on Sept. 1, snapping a three race losing streak that started in Dubai. Relief seemed the most obvious emotion of the crowd that she returned to what she does best--winning.
You can imagine that went double for the Moonee Valley Racing Club board, the body which stages the Cox Plate, the ninth Emirates World Series event on Oct. 27 -- Breeders' Cup weekend.
The champion New Zealand mare wasn't back to her normal efficient killing mode, but her 11/2 length victory over her Manikato Stakes (Aust-I) conqueror Piavonic was a positive sign for her senior part-owner Trevor McKee, who prepares the 6-year-old distaffer with his son Stephen.
Regular partner Greg Childs did not ask Sunline to lead over the 1,400 meters and the easing 4-5 favorite took the lead soon after entering the stretch. She was again hunted by Piavonic and although Childs elected to keep Sunline near the rail, where the going was heavier, the other mare never really threatened to pass her. Rum ran home strongly to take third.
Meanwhile, in Sydney, Brave Prince provided an upset at 40-1 in a Chelmsford Stakes (Aust-II) edition shortened from the usual mile to 1,400 meters. Viscount, last season's top Australian 2-year-old, surprising failed, finishing a flat fifth as Zabeel's Angel and The Man filled the minor placings. Brave Prince is a journeyman 7-year-old son of Kenmare and is trained by Sterling Smith, a cousin of Gai Waterhouse.