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Presence of Heroes

By Steve Haskin -- The American racing fan is starving for a hero. Not one of these short-term heroes that are merely a brief flash of light, but one that can keep the fire aglow. Well, guess what? We have been in the presence of such heroes for the past several years and aren't even aware of it.

Australians Welcome a New Racing Hero

To the roar of the crowd, the grand mare Sunline stepped onto the track for her farewell event. She tossed her head about to acknowledge one of the largest crowds ever assembled at historic Moonee Valley Racecourse. At the starting gates a stellar field of runners were waiting for her to contest the $3 million Cox Plate, a Group I event run at the classic distance of 1 1/4 miles.

Lonhro Defeats Sunline in Cox Plate Prep

Caulfield Guineas Day was D-Day for Sunline. The scheduled grand final for the grand dame of Australian racing was an attempt to win a third W.S. Cox Plate (Aust-I) 14 days later, but a less than stellar performance would see her fabulous career ended early, if that can be a said of a mare still galloping about professionally at seven.

Sunline A Perfect 10 in New Zealand

Sunline made it 10 for 10 in her homeland in returning with a win in the Mudgway Stakes (NZ-II) at New Zealand's Hawkes Bay on Aug. 24. The champion distaffer had to scrap some with pacemaker Tit For Taat in the stretch before recording her 32nd win from 45 starts. She won by three-quarters of a length.

Sunline NZ Horse of the Year for Fourth Year in a Row

Sunline again exhausted all of the usual superlatives in collecting her fourth straight New Zealand Horse of the Year award. Voting numbers are not generally disclosed at awards in this part of the world, but from a panel of 42 judges made up of media and racing club administrators 26 of 41 ballots (63%) placed Sunline No. 1 and Ethereal No. 2, the other plumping for a tie.

Val Royal, Sunline Head Hong Kong International Cast

Val Royal, Sunline Head Hong Kong International Cast

The Hong Kong Jockey Club has announced that 40 horses from nine different countries have made the final cut for the four group races that will be contested at Sha Tin Racecourse on Dec. 16. Included among the top horses scheduled to compete in the Hong Kong International races are this year's Breeders' Cup Mile winner Val Royal as well as three winners of International races last year who are back to defend their titles.

Sunline Set for Return

Last season, the New Zealand-bred Sunline started her spring campaign in the about six-furlong Manikato Stakes (Aust-I) at Moonee Valley. Over the next 12 months, Sunline won another seven races including the BMW Cox Plate (Aust-I) by seven-lengths, and the Hong Kong International Mile (HK-I). So it's no surprise people are interested in seeing what she's capable of on Saturday.

Geldings Battle to Wire in Dubai Duty Free

The older geldings Jim and Tonic and Fairy King Prawn ran by the great New Zealand mare Sunline and fought to the finish in the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-II) on the World Cup card at Nad al Sheba racecourse. At the end, it was Jim and Tonic on top as the 7-year-old French-bred posted his 11th victory in his 30th career start. Previous to the Duty Free, the gelding trained by Francois Doumen was third in the Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) in Decembe

Sunline Seeks New Earnings Mark in Duty Free

Sunline Seeks New Earnings Mark in Duty Free

New Zealand racemare Sunline could become the first Australasian horse to reach the elusive AUS$10-million earnings mark with a victory in Saturday's $US2-million (AUS$4.09 million) Dubai Duty Free, a turf race on the Dubai World Cup card at Nad al Sheba racecourse in the United Arab Emirates. A victory would be worth US$1.2-million (AUS$2.45 million).

Captain Steve, Best of the Bests, Co-Favored in World Cup

There are clear favorites in three of the big Dubai World Cup Day races, but in THE BIG race, the $6 million Dubai World Cup, Captain Steve from the U.S. and the home team's Best of the Bests are both 7-4. According to William Hill, one of England's leading bookmakers. the biggest favorite on the day is Sunline, who is the 13-8 choice in the Dubai Duty Free.

All Points North

Northerly trounced a strong field in winning the Australian Cup (Aust-I) at Flemington March 12. With the exception of Sunline, now in Dubai, and Tie the Knot, the best horses in training assembled in Melbourne's main fall event over 2,000 meters.

Captain Steve, Aptitude Confirmed For Dubai World Cup

Representatives of 17 different countries totaling 80 international runners have confirmed their participation at the 2001 Dubai World Cup meeting at Nad Al Sheba on March 24. The $6-million group I Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates and the opening leg of the 2001 Emirates World Series Racing Championships, is likely to attract 14 runners, including Captain Steve and Aptitude from the U.S.

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