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Australia: Sunline has a stroll in prep for Dubai.

Byline: Syd Brennan

CHAMPION racemare Sunline had little more than an exercise gallop to win the Group 2 Apollo Stakes over seven furlongs at Warwick Farm, New South Wales, on Saturday, writes Syd Brennan.

The brilliant New Zealand mare, a 1-4 chance, jumped off in front and Greg Childs let her stride along at a leisurely gallop to win by two lengths on heavy ground from Celestial Choir (20-1).

Referral, another 20-1 chance, finished third, a length and three quarters further away. Tie The Knot (10-1), a ten-time Group 1 winner, was a length back in fourth.

Sunline is booked to return to New Zealand tonight. She will fly out to Dubai in a week's time to tackle the Group 2 Dubai Duty Free on the World Cup card on March 24.

Trevor McKee, Sunline's trainer, said: "The only concern with Dubai is the foot and mouth disease outbreak in Britain [and possible exposure to the virus].

"But Dubai is our goal. If she can win there, it will be the ultimate."

If Sunline makes the trip, McKee said there is a good chance she may race again in Sydney during the autumn carnival.

He added: "She has to come back to Australia for quarantine, so, depending on how things go in Dubai, she could race in Sydney over Easter."

Sunline holds the Australasian earnings record with A$7.6 million (pounds 2.74m), and has won 25 of her 33 starts.

Childs and Sunline returned to a rousing ovation. The jockey said: "She was always doing it pretty easy, but I had to urge her along at the 150 metres because she switched off, but she got going again. She's all class."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 5, 2001
Words:283
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