Gunsynd Is Considered One Of The Most Prolific Racehorses Of All Time
Comparing thoroughbreds from the past with those of the present by looking only at the prize money they have produced is obviously a flawed approach.
Some of the greatest racers in history, those with credentials that border on mind-boggling, earned during the course of their racing careers less than what is possible during current times for third-place finisher in a group 3 event.
It would seem, therefore, that a more objective comparison can be made by comparing racing records, although that criterion also invites some degree of subjectivity, due to the exponential growth of horse racing, particularly in Australia, where even though the total population is only a fraction of the United States and Japan, there are more race courses in Australia than in either one of these countries.
Looking strictly at racing records, however, at least serves to identify the horses that stood out amongst the competition of their generation, and by this standard, Gunsynd must be considered one of the most prolific racers of all time.
Foaled n Australia in 1967, Gunsynd was sired by Sunset Hue that had only three wins to show for 18 starts, despite a bloodline that would seem to imply guaranteed success Gunsynd’s dam was Woody Wonder, remarkable only in the fact that she was one of those few instances amongst thoroughbreds of a twin birth.
Four Person Syndicate For $1600
Gunsynd was purchased in 1969 for the bargain price of $1600 by a four person syndicate. He raced for only four years and indelibly etched his name in the annals of Australian horse racing history.
During that time, he managed 54 starts for 29 wins, 7 seconds and three thirds.
This record becomes all the more impressive when consideration is given to the fact that only two of those wins came to him as a two-year-old, along with the factor that Gunsynd was proficient at various distances.
That first season, 1969 – 70, he won the 1969 Hopeful Stakes and came back in 1972 take the Chelmsford Stakes.
Gunsynd Switches Stable
The next season saw circumstances intervene much to his favour when Gunsynd switched stables to come under the supervision of Tommy Smith for 1970 – 71.
This season saw Gunsynd rounding into form with victories in the Rawson Stakes, the Epsom Handicap, Toorak Handicap, Sandown Cup and the George Adams Handicap. In 1972 he won a W. S. Cox Plate, ran a respectable third in the Melbourne Cup at a distance generally considered far beyond that of a miler such as Gunsynd.
He further added another eight major races to his tally. This remarkable performance resulted in Gunsynd being awarded Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year for the season.
Resumes In 1973
He resumed in 1973, winning a second VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes to go along with a second Rawson Stakes, and adding a Blarney Stakes and the AJC Autumn Stakes.
He was a favourite amongst Australian punters and the general public for being one of the best out of the relatively few number of greys and for his ability to compete when it would have appeared that victory was beyond his stride.
Gunsynd was noteworthy due to a running style that enabled him to win at distances as short as 1200 m and as long as 2500 m. At races around 1600 m, he only lost one time out of seven tries, that being the 1972 Epson Handicap, a race he lost by well under a length.
Gunsynd’s stud career began in 1973. He did not experience anything approaching the success of his racing career, except for perhaps Ammo Girl, that was the dam of 1983/84 Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year, Emancipation.
Cancer forced Gunsynd’s euthanisatio at the rather young age of 16.
Icon Of Queensland
He is considered an icon in Queensland, a race, the Gunsynd Mile, takes place at Doomben racecourse in his honour, and he was rightly inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2005.
At the time, his earnings of over $280,000 were the record for an Australian thoroughbred. He was unplaced only 10 times out of this 54 starts and he is justifiably considered in the upper echelon of the all-time great thoroughbreds.