Sunline, the leading money earner in Australasia (Australia and New Zealand), is expected to start next in the Apollo Stakes (Aust-II) on March 3, her prep for Dubai. Sydney race fans should pack Warwick Farm as the race will feature a return bout between Sunline and local star Tie the Knot, who resides fourth on the list with $5.5 million (Australian funds).
Sunline took her earnings to AUS$,679,000 and change with an exercise gallop in the Waikato Stakes (NZ-I) at Te Rapa on Feb. 10. The champion 6-year-old has since been diverted from the Dubai Cup (UAE-I) to the $2 million Dubai Duty Free (UAE-II, 1,777 meters on turf) and a rematch with Australian-bred Fairy King Prawn, whom she just held out in Hong Kong.
The $102,000 allocated by the Australian Jockey Club for the Apollo now looks embarrassingly small for its 1,400 meters feature, given the earnings of the main guests and the crowd they will draw. Tie the Knot is 0-4 against Sunline, but ran second in her first Cox Plate (Aust-I) win and over the Apollo track and distance in the Warwick Stakes (Aust-II) 18 months ago.
There was controversy after the latter race, Shane Dye not considered to have ridden the Nassipour son with little judgment in allowing Sunline to gain a huge lead before running her to a half length. Those to oppose the headliners will include Referral, third in that race, and a solid short neck second to Tie the Knot when they opened their fall campaigns in the 1,200 meters Expressway Stakes (Aust-II) at Rosehill on Feb. 17. Paddy Payne will again ride Tie the Know and Greg Childs will partner Sunline.
Australia's Leading Earners (Australian funds)
1. Sunline (NZ), $8,679,332
2. Octagonal (NZ), $5,892,231
3. Super Impose (NZ), $5,659,358
4. Tie the Knot, $5,538,780
5. Might and Power (NZ), $5,226,286
6. Better Loosen Up, $4,773,970
7. Rough Habit (NZ), $3,887,393
8. Saintly, $3,852,765
9. Intergaze, $3,774,806
10. Mahogany, $3,668,478