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Bluebloods : Karaka 2010 Yearling Sale Preview
ne of the words most often used to describe Sunline was "freak." The online Oxford Dictionary definition is "a person, animal, or plant which is abnormal or deformed." Its modern meaning has expanded to become a term of admiration for anything so exceptional that it cannot be easily explained. In racing journalism it implies a mismatch between the quality of a horse and its origins -- as if Sunline arrived on earth in a supernatural manner, like the goddess Athene bursting from the head of Zeus. A recent study of the great racehorse and original supersire Eclipse offers a different view of what might make a horse extraordinary. Scientists from the Royal Veterinary College and the University of Cambridge, England concluded that "All the factors for speed were perfectly matched. A key ability for a fast horse is to be able to bring its legs forward quickly, which is difficult for large animals with long limbs. Eclipse was smaller than modern racehorses. Rather than being some freak of nature with incredible properties, he was actually just right in absolutely every way." Just right in absolutely every way, though not at all small, and very definitely born in the usual manner at Ngaire Fraser's Pleasanton Stud near Cambridge, New Zealand around noon on 29 September 1995: that was Sunline. Or, as English magazine Pacemaker later described her, "the sexy, stunning, sublime, sensational mare." And, as Sir Patrick Hogan said after her 2000 Hong Kong Mile victory, "the best horse bred in New Zealand in my lifetime." So exactly where did Sunline come from? The story of her DNA is at once unique and universal: a long series of journeys and transactions, decisions and strokes of fate that ended with the mating of Desert Sun and Songline at Ra Ora Stud, Auckland in the spring of 1994. The Australian Stud Book's wonderful records allow Sunline's female line to be traced back across 29 generations to the 17th century Dicky Pierson Mare, via the 2-r branch of the Election mare foaled in 1814. The Election mare was a half-sister to three important early 19th century stallions, Selim, Rubens and Castrel, and the 1806 English Oaks winner Bronze. Other famous horses whose pedigrees show descent from the Dicky Pierson mare include Carbine, Northern Dancer, Secretariat and Danehill. International research published in 2002 has shown that the genetic lineage of several female families doesn't match the Stud Book record, although Family No. 2 is not one of them. Nevertheless, the shadow of doubt has been cast over the early generations of thoroughbred pedigrees. We can be more certain about the No. 2 family when it arrived in Australasia, in the form of Miss Kate, foaled in England in 1873. By the quality racehorse and successful sire Adventurer from six-time winner Sporting Life, she was handy enough to win six races at two, three and four. Retired in November 1877, she was imported the following year to Grove Farm, near Ashburton, the property of John Carter, an ambitious farmer and land-owner who prospered as a business partner of the astute Canterbury pastoralist Robert Wilkin. Just as Carter attached himself to Wilkin, so the Grove Farm stud manager Edward Gates linked his fortunes to Carter, and when Carter died suddenly O 26 SUNLINE (NZ) Desert Sun-Songline (Western Symphony) 29 September 1995-1 May 2009 May the blessings of a horse-loving heaven be heaped upon her SUNLINE
Magic Millions Preview
Inglis Sydney Classic