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  Fulham Gardens SA

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The Goondiwindi Grey
Foaled October 4 1967
By Sunset Hue from Woodie Wonder

The grey colt that would one day become famous as Gunsynd the Goondiwindi Grey  was foaled at The Dip Stud at Breeza in Northern NSW between Gunnedah and Tamworth on October 4 1967.  Although there were no outward signs of the champion of the future when he was a young horse Gunsynd did carry the blood of both The Barb and Carbine in his pedigree both Australian racing greats of the late 1800s.

His sire Sunset Hue was a talented racehorse and as a 2yo won over 5 furlongs and was second in the AJC Sires Produce.  In 18 race starts he also won an Encourage Hcp and AJC Trial Hcp over 10 furlongs before being injured in VRC Derby which resulted in an early retirement to stud.  In addition to Gunsynd Sunset Hue also sired thge stakeswinners Sunset Sue, Sun Opal, Sunset Gem, Sunset Red and Thumb Print.  Gunsynd was a member of his third crop and Sunset Hue was ultimately at stud for 8 seasons.

Gunsynd's dam was Woodie Wonder and as a twin it was amazing she survived let alone going on to produce a champion at stud.  She started in only one race where she ran third at Tamworth before going to stud.  Her first foal was by Grenfell Star and named Kilkenny Star in 1964 before she missed the following year.  In 1966 she produced the stakeswinner Sunset Sue before Gunsynd was foaled in 1967.  In 1968 she foaled Sunset Red who included the WJ McKell Cup amongst his wins and this was the third and last union of Sunset Hue and Woodie Wonder.  Her remaining foals were 1969 Curra Royale by Game of Chance, 1970 Gunwyne by Tourmaline, 1973 Gunslinger by High Hat, 1974 Woodie Ever by Emerilo, 1976 Bold Illusion by Rascolnik and 1978 Wonderful Feeling by Rascolnik.  She missed in 1971, 1972, 1975 and 1977 while her last foal who was produced to Rascolnik died young.  Woodie Wonder died in April 1980.

As a yearling Gunsynd didn't particularly stand out from his paddock mates and was described as perhaps more placid than other yearlings and preferred to stay behind in the pack in the paddock however he was considered a nice moving horse.  Soon it was time for the grey colt to head to the sales but in transit he knocked a leg which left a nasty looking lump.  Ironically the truck passed through Goondiwindi as his breeder stopped to get lunch though none of the onlookers could have guessed the fame one of the young thoroughbreds in the truck would bring to the small town.  Scheduled as Lot 28 the colt had at least one person interested in buying him despite the lump.  G McMicking had been interested in his year older sister the year before but missed out.  This year he got together a group of 3 others from his home town of Goondiwindi consisting of A Bishop, J Coorey and A Pippos to put in $1000 each to purchase a horse.  Mr McMicking's first choice was the grey colt and with many turned off due to his leg the colt was knocked down to the syndicate for only $1,300.

The colt entered training with Bill Wehlow as the syndicate started to think of what to call their new acquisition.  A number of names were thought of such as Woodie Go, We Wonder and Hue Wonder but ultimately he was named Gunsynd a mixture of his owners home town - Gun - and syndicate - Synd.

In trackwork Gunsynd showed enough promise for his connections to think he might turnnout to be a handy racehorse but when he lined up at the official barrier trials he showed a glimpse of what was to come.  In September 1969 Gunsynd went to the Eagle Farm barrier trials.  He was steadied off the early pace but stormed home to win easily by 5 lengths.

He returned to Eagle Farm two weeks later for the Hopeful Stakes over 5 furlongs (1000m).  Gunsynd was near the rear early before moving up to 10th around the home turn but soon exploded in the straight to win going away by 3 lengths in race record time.  Three weeks later he lined up in the Sapling Stakes again over the 5 furlongs at Eagle Farm.  Again he was amongst the pack around the turn before racing away to win from Gentle Anthony.  Gunsynd was then given a let up before preparing for a tilt at the 1970 Golden Slipper Stakes. 

Resuming over 6 furlongs (1200m) at Eagle Farm in February Gunsynd sat in second position before winning hard held by 1 1/2 lengths from Orange Spec to whom he conceded 9.5kg in weight.  It was then onto Sydney and the Endeavour Hcp over 7 furlongs (1400m) a fortnight later.  Showing signs of greeness Gunsynd tried to duck in after turning for home before drifting out to the centre of the track.  Despite this the grey colt had too much in hand for his rivals and defeated Medici by 2 lengths.

Lining up for the Golden Slipper Gunsynd took on fellow future champions including Baguette and Dual Choice.  As they flew from the start Gunsynd struggled to stay in touch and was ninth turning for home.  He ran on in the straight but passed the post in 7th position as Baguette defeated Royal Show with Dual Choice in third place.  Ten days later Gunsynd started in the Fernhill Hcp over the mile course at Randwick.  After being well back early he moved to 9th by the 800m and was 5th around the turn.  Despite being burdened with 60kg he hit the front by the 200m and came away to win by 1 1/4 lengths from the favourite Tumberlina with Ishkoodah third.

Initial thoughts were to head back to the Brisbane winter carnival but connections decided that a spell and back to prepare for the AJC Derby (then held in the Spring) would be the best plan.  

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