Sun still shining in Canberra

Just days after a bronze statue was unveiled in her honour at Ellerslie, Sunline’s baby brother Daline won his Maiden in the ACTEWAGL Plate in Canberra.

Daline (4g Shamardal – Songline by Western Symphony) was racing first-up for nearly a year and the win was something of a surprise for connections.  “I thought 1200 metres might find it a bit short,” trainer Guy Walter admitted.  “It was his first start since being gelded and that obviously made a difference.”

Sunline (Desert Sun) was the first of Songline’s seven foals to race.  Rightfully regarded as our greatest mare of all time from 1600m to 2040m, Sunline won 13 Group1 races and doubled-up in the Cox Plate, Doncaster Mile, All-Aged Stakes, Waikato Draught Sprint and Coolmore Classic.

Sunline left minor winners by Rock Of Gibraltar and Zabeel before succumbing to laminitis in May 2009.  She became a grandmother for the first time when her 2006 daughter Sunalta foaled a filly by Librettist in October 2011.

Her dam Songline is owned by NSW breeder John Starr.  Now rising 25, she had been based at Inverness Stud but changed hands for $210,000 at the 2005 Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale.  Daline arrived a year later but Songline has since missed to Exceed and Excel, Rock of Gibraltar, Musket and Bon Hoffa.

Daline was the first leg of a winning day for Darley sires in Canberra on Sunday.  Hood (Shamardal) claimed the National Sprint and Epaulette (Commands) captured the Black Opal Stakes.