World News – UA – How New Zealand Champion Sunline changed Greg Childs’ life


New Zealand jockey Greg Childs’ debut Cox Plate is still considered one of the most dramatic of all time But it was an initiation that would later serve him well with a superstar Kiwi mare

Despite being a dual prime minister jockey, Greg Childs wastes no energy – or words – in retirement

When asked to assess Sunline and the impact of the powerful Kiwi leader on his career and life, Childs said: « I would go to the grave with Sunline

« I had a lot of success in the sense that I succeeded before Sunline But I had not mounted a champion

« She took me around the world She had to travel to travel and compete in four countries » She raced in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and Dubai

Still deeply linked to the Victorian race through the actions of his twins – and contemporary jockeys – Jordan and Tayla, Childs was bitten early on by the Cox Plate virus

As a youngster growing up in New Plymouth, New Zealand, Childs fell in love with the Cox Plate legend, Brent Thomson and the allure of Australian racing

Baptisms by fire aren’t much more difficult – or controversial – than Childs’ 1992 initiation into The Valley

Champion mare Sunline and jockey Greg Childs thunder easiest of wins in 2000Source: News Limited

« Let’s Elope was my first ride on the Cox Plate and everything was going great, » Childs recalls

« But as the race developed past the school there was a bad fall inside of me

« Just sailed and started a bit too early She hit the front at the top of the straight and she was at her top In the 100m she lay down and everything got a bit tricky

« Super Impose came down outside and buried us all I finished second but we didn’t hear the last of that

« Better Loosen Up rider Simon Marshall protested and we were relegated for the interference to fourth place »

Childs carried the wrath of stewards and punters that day but absorbed a hard lesson

Having apprenticed with Gary Stewart, Bonecrusher’s winning jockey in the famous 1986 classic, Childs was surprised to win the mount over New Zealand superstar Sunline

« Let’s Elope used to rest, but Sunline was pretty straightforward, » he said

« This is where you take your hat off to Glen Boss and the way he’s piloted Makybe Diva in three Melbourne Cups

« Sunline was a dream to drive She was up to the task and when you needed her to sprint she could

« In 1999 there was a lot of pressure, I had all of NZ supporting Sunline and a lot of Australians too. But all I had to do was guide her through Moonee Valley

“Before the race there was a lot of speculation, especially from Glen Boss, that there would be more pressure

Sunline and Childs started before the home turn in the 2000 raceSource: News Limited

« Beyond the half mile, and (coach) Trevor (McKee) always said to me, ‘Don’t wait for them to come to you She was cruising high »

« In the 800m, I let her go – one, two, three, four, five, six lengths ahead – and turning into the turn, I heard nothing. It was silent »

Realizing that a third victory would allow Sunline to compete with the feat of successive Kingston Town victories in 1980-82, Childs said: “These are all races under pressure, but this is the race that we really needed to raise Sunline in the hemisphere

« She started off as a favorite, but we had a potential new champion – trained in the north by Fred Kersley and ridden by Damien Oliver – on the stage »

« I jumped and showed a positive attitude Northerly was third or fourth and we had Viscount, a young horse trained by John Hawkes and ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, » Childs said

Northerly denies Sunline a third Cox Plate victory as Viscount (center) is in a hurry as interference disrupts the final stages of 2001’s arrivalSource: News Limited

« As I walked past the school I was having trouble getting the break I couldn’t pinch a length or two North kept pushing in there, kept chasing

“In the 200m, I did a few lengths Halfway, in the 100m, she was at her peak Unusual for her, she started to put

« The north tended to stick around and there was a three-year-old (viscount) trying to squeeze in the middle and get hammered

« The north has just risen and there have been protests from me against the north and from the viscount against me and the north

« At the end of the day, the commissioners said it was too close to the winning post »

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Sunline, WS Cox Plate, Horse racing, Jockey, Damien Oliver, Northerly, Mick Dittman

News from around the world – AU – How New Zealand champion Sunline changed the life of Greg childs


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