Sunline, the 1-4 favorite, was in front soon after the gates opened and was never in danger, sprinting clear 300 meters from the line and easing up to win in wet conditions by two lengths from 20-1 shots Celestial Choir and Referral. Her jockey, Greg Childs, declared she was as good as ever. "The beauty of Sunline is that she puts herself into the race. Then she just goes into overdrive," Childs said.
The victory was the 5-year-old mare's 25th win from 33 starts and took her earnings a little closer to $NZ10 million. Her victories include the Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) last December and the last two runnings of the W.S. Cox Plate (Aust-I).
Sunline returned to New Zealand March 4 and is scheduled to embark on a 20-hour journey to Dubai on March 11. She is due to contest the $2 million Dubai Duty Free (UAE-II) on turf, where her opponents are expected to include Fairy King Prawn, the Australian-bred Hong Kong champion that pushed her to a nose in the Hong Kong Mile.
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