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Aust-Bred Gr1 Star Sun Classique To Join De Kock In UK
Australian-bred South African champion Sun Classique (Fuji Kiseki-Elfenjer, by Last Tycoon) "will be transferred to Mike de Kock's satellite operation in Britain after running in the Gr1 Dubai Sheema Classic on March 29 & will be aimed at some of the top mile & 10 furlongs races this year," reported racingpost.co.uk. The multiple Gr1-winning 4YO mare "was to have joined Ed Dunlop in Newmarket a year ago, but a suspected outbreak of African Horse Sickness closed the Cape Town quarantine station & she had to be kept at home". It was "thought she would go to Dunlop next month" but breeder & part owner Lionel Cohen confirmed: "Mike de Kock did not have a base in Newmarket when we first planned to send Sun Classique to Britain, so we decided on Ed Dunlop. Then we could not send her anywhere & this year it made sense for her to join Mike's team in Dubai & he will also be her trainer in England." Sun Classique has won both her starts in Dubai, with successive victories in February's Listed Cape Verdi Stakes (1600m on turf) at Nad Al Sheba & Listed Balanchine Stakes (1777m on turf) at Nad Al Sheba. Last season Sun Classique (born & raised at Widden Stud in the NSW Hunter Valley prior to her export to South Africa in June 2004) was named South Africa's Champion 3YO Classic Female (1600m+) at the annual Equus Awards. During 2007 she won both the Gr1 Woolavington 2200 (2200m) at Greyville & Gr1 Majorca Stakes (1600m) against older rivals at Kenilworth; & in 2006 she won the Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas (1600m) at Kenilworth & Gr3 Diana Stakes (plus finishing runner-up in both the Gr1 Paddock Stakes & Gr1 Thekwini Fillies Stakes). South African owner-breeder Lionel Cohen's Equimark paid $32,500 for Sun Classique's dam Elfenjer at the 2003 Inglis Broodmare Sale; Elfenjer is a daughter of Gr1 SAJC Oaks winner Gamine.