Before champion Australian racehorses Winx, Black Caviar and Makybe Diva, there was SUNLINE.

1st All-Aged Stakes, Randwick 2002, 2000
1st Doncaster Handicap, Randwick 2002, 1999
1st Coolmore Classic, Rosehill 2002, 2000
1st Waikato Draught Sprint, Te Rapa 2002, 2001
1st Hong Kong Mile, Sha Tin 2000
1st Cox Plate, Moonee Valley 2000, 1999
1st Manikato Stakes, Moonee Valley 2000
1st Flight Stakes, Randwick 1998

Sunline was a champion New Zealand race mare who did it all. She won 32 horse races and 13 Group 1s, competing in four countries across six seasons.

For racehorse breeders Susan Archer and Michael Martin, Sunline was everything thoroughbred lovers could wish for. “Her magnificent physique, ferocious competitive spirit and indomitable courage were all that
any breeder could hope to produce” they said.

Prepared by trainer Trevor McKee and often ridden by jockey Greg Childs, Sunline won her first four starts on home soil before tasting top level success in Australia - theme that would develop throughout her career.

Renowned for her front-running style, Sunline possessed fighting qualities forging a record as one of the very best sprinter-milers. She conquered Australia's weight-for-age championship twice with back-to-back Cox Plate wins in 1999 and 2000; including a seven-length rout of Diatribe.

Incredibly, she raced in the Cox Plate four years in a row, only to be thwarted by the 'Fighting Tiger', Northerly, who had her measure in 2001-2002.

Coupled with G1 victories in Australia's premier handicaps and weight-for-age races; Doncaster Mile, All Aged Stakes, Coolmore Classic and Manikato Stakes, underlining Sunline’s greatness was her ability to travel and the level of competition she raced against.

As she contested races in Australia, Dubai and Hong Kong achieving international Group 1 glory in the 2000 Hong Kong Mile defeating local flagbearer Fairy King Prawn.

Sunline would never back down from a challenge staging famous battles against Tie The Knot, Jim And Tonic, Lonhro and Piavonic.

Not only did Sunline touch the lives of racing fans but she also had a profound impact on her trackwork rider and strapper, groom Claire Bird. "She absolutely changed my life. I probably don’t see her the way other people do, she was just my horse. She was incredibly tough, never ever stopped trying.”

Often refusing to let Bird in her box without carrying some Oddfellows peppermints, Sunline was never scratched from any race she was paid up for a testament to her durability.

Sunline had 48 starts and placed 12 times, with wins in all conditions over 1100 to 2040 metres, bowing out as one of the greatest horses to grace the Australian and New Zealand turf. Australia Post honoured her with a postage stamp.

Sunline had four foals, including two by Coolmore’s Rock of Gibraltar, a Zabeel colt and a Hussonet filly.

In 2009, Sunline succumbed to painful equine affliction laminitis "she leaves this world with a memory of equine magnificence that will not be erased" - Breeders Susan Archer and Michael Martin. A name forever etched into Australasian racing folklore.


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