Eliza Park launches Sunline Suite
Prolific sire, DESERT SUN – who has played such an integral role in the establishment and progress of Eliza Park – is retiring from stud duties.
And, in recognition of his vast achievements, Eliza Park is sponsoring the Sunline Suite at Moonee Valley racecourse for the next three seasons.
The Eliza Park Sunline Suite is the owners and trainers’ bar at Moonee Valley and the official launch of the sponsorship will take place immediately prior to the Group Two Sunline Stakes at Moonee Valley this Saturday (13 February).
The synergy is obvious with dual Cox Plate winner and racetrack legend, Sunline, being Desert Sun’s greatest performer, but Eliza Park’s foundation stallion was much more than a one trick pony.
Since commencing his career in New Zealand in 1994 (moving to Eliza Park in 1999), Desert Sun has produced 445 winners of 1465 races in 17 different countries including England, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, USA, Canada, South Africa, Hong Kong, Malyasia, Singapore, Macau, Denmark, Norway and Sweden!
A constant presence in the top half of Australian sire charts for over 10 years, Desert Sun’s other headliners include Our Egyptian Raine, La Bella Dama, Moralee, Lacey Underall, Great Is Great and Fernandina.
All up, the son of Green Desert has produced no less than 31 stakes winners and 30 stakes placegetters.
However, despite his retirement from active service, Desert Sun’s impact is likely to be felt for many years to come via his daughters who have already produced a half dozen stakes winners, among them the Group One winner Rockdale, Sista and Thee Auld Aussie (not to mention Sunline’s first two runners!).
And somewhat fittingly (not to mention timely) perhaps his greatest legacy as a damsire – Black Caviar – will make her appearance in the Group One $500,000 Pulse Pharmacy William Reid Stakes (1200m) two races prior to the Sunline Stakes.
Out of Desert Sun’s daughter, Helsinge, and by Eliza Park’s Champion Victorian Sire, Bel Esprit, Black Caviar is unbeaten in five starts and is fresh from a commanding victory in the Australia Day Stakes-G2 at Moonee Valley on 22 January.
It’s certainly shaping as an epic contest with the 14 nominations including the first five across the line in the 2010 Lightning Stakes-G1 – Nicconi (dual Group One winner), Wanted (2YO Group winner), Shellscrape (Group Two winner), Starspangledbanner (2009 Caulfield Guineas-G1) and Headway (2009 Ascot Vale Stakes-G1 and Golden Slipper-G1 runnerup) – plus Group One winners Sniper’s Bullet (Group One winner at last two starts), Master O’Reilly (Caulfield Cup), Mentality (3-time Group One winner), Turffontein (2009 Sir Rupert Clarke) and Light Fantastic (Australian Guineas).
“Desert Sun has been a truly remarkable sire and has gone a long way to putting Eliza Park on the map,” Eliza Park principal, Lee Fleming, points out. “Our initial aspirations were to conduct more of a boutique operation, but Desert Sun’s acquisition in the spring of 1999 really turned things around.
“When he arrived on farm, Sunline was a few months off winning her first Cox Plate, while La Bella Dama and Our Egyptian Raine were yet to win their Group Ones.
“And, of course, it’s now tremendous to see that the winning trend is continuing through his daughters’ progeny – especially so with Black Caviar as she is by Champion Victorian Sire Bel Esprit … Eliza Park’s new guard so to speak.
“I believe that sponsoring the Eliza Park Sunline Suite at Moonee Valley is a fitting tribute to a stallion who has left such an indelible mark on Eliza Park’s evolution.”