Black Caviar's damsire Desert Sun dies at 24
DESERT SUN, the British-raced sire of New Zealand champion racemare Sunline and damsire of Saturday's Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner Black Caviar, has died at Eliza Park in Victoria, Australia. He was 24.
The son of Green Desert began his stud career in New Zealand in 1994 and became Eliza Park's foundation stallion when moving there in 1999 at the peak of Sunline's career.
Sunline, who won 13 Group 1 races including the Hong Kong Mile and two renewals of the Cox Plate, is one of more than 30 stakes winners by the stallion.
Desert Sun also reverse shuttled to Oak Lodge Stud in County Kildare and to the National Stud in Newmarket. His best European-bred progeny are Group 3 Greenham Stakes winner and Derby fifth Salford City, and dual Listed scorer Dunelight.
He has found new fame as the damsire of outstanding Australian sprinter Black Caviar, who is out of his daughter Helsinge. Desert Sun is also broodmare sire of Group 1 T J Smith hero Rockdale.
Desert Sun was trained by Henry Cecil to win two races and finish placed in the Group 3 Craven Stakes and the Group 2 Forte Mile at Sandown.
Eliza Park manager Lee Fleming said when the stallion was pensioned from stud duty two years ago: "Desert Sun has been a truly remarkable sire and has gone a long way to putting Eliza Park on the map.
"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."