"A GOOD second-rater!" That's how a Sydney-based associate of my father once described the 'Goondiwindi Grey' Gunsynd (Sunset Hue/Woodie Wonder) inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in May 2005.
OK, everyone knows Gunsynd was bred in northern NSW, but he was owned in Queensland at Goondiwindi and established his reputation in Queensland.
Not everybody was impressed with his early interstate visits to Sydney which included seconds in the STC Rosehill Guineas and the AJC Derby. This prompted the "second-rater" jibe which really incensed me as a former Goondiwindi resident. However, Gunsynd's subsequent exploits to retire as Australia's top prizemoney earner prompted the critic to later acknowledge Gunsynd as a true champion.
One of Gunsynd's co-owners was the late George Pippos who owned the Victoria Hotel at Goondiwindi. He was part of a Goondiwindi syndicate of newsagent Bill Bishop, grazier 'Winks' McMicking and local businessman and bookmaker Jim Coorey who bought Gunsynd as a yearling for $1300. At the end of his racing career he had 29 wins and had Australian record earnings of $280,455 - the equivalent of almost $11 million in 2019.
Now George's brother Angleo 'Lucky' Pippos has the privilege of using the purple and white halves and purple cap colours that Gunsynd made famous.
The colours are now making a triumphant return with the continued success of another grey gelding The Candyman - a 5YO gelding by Casino Prince from the Stravinsky (USA) mare Melody (NZ) raced by Lucky and Gladstone-based friend Edgar Allen. A $40,000 yearling at the 2015 Magic Millions National Sale and subsequently a $120,000 2YO at the 2015 Magic Millions Horses In Training Sale, The Candy Man has now won seven races in succession for Brisbane trainer Barry Baldwin - his latest win being the Group 3 Premier's Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
The wins justify the considerable financial outlay and incredible patience shown by all connections when The Candy Man suffered a horrific jaw injury that required 10 hours' surgery performed by Dr Stephen Zedler from UQ Vets Equine Specialist Hospital at Gatton Campus costing $30,000 and 18 months away from racing. Having run fifth at his only 2YO start in May 2016 he then returned in a barrier trial in September 2018. Since then he's run 10 times beginning with three seconds followed by seven wins at the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
Thangool 'hosts' a quinella in BOB heat
THANGOOL Race Club in the North Burnett hosted a unique Battle of the Bush qualifying heat when siblings Mia Host and All Host ran the quinella in the 1200m feature race held on Saturday.
The winner was 7YO mare Mia Host trained locally by Damien Rideout while her year older brother All Host finished second two lengths away for Bundaberg trainer Darryl Gardiner.
Both are by Chilean-bred sire Host from the winning Stravinsky (USA) mare Four Seasons. A dual Group 1 winner in Chile and the USA, Host has sired a constant stream of winners with progeny earnings closing rapidly on the $10 million mark. He's definitely nicked well with Stravinsky mares with six individual winners including the Listed Tatt's George Adams Plate winner Miss It And A Bit in Tasmania.
Mia Host and All Host are also multiple winners. Mia Host has eight wins and nine placings from 46 starts while All Host also has eight wins plus 25 placings from 57 starts. Both were bred and raced in Victoria by Santo Varapodio and trained by Echuca-based Gwenda Johnstone before being on-sold to Queensland.
Four Seasons was bought about five years ago by Belinda Richardson at Kyabram, Victoria, who liked the mare's pedigree - especially the fact that she was by Stravinsky and that her grandam Heavenly Body by the Sir Tristram sire Grosvenor won the Group 1 South Australian Oaks. Belinda was also aware that former world champion sprinter Lankan Rupee is by Danehill sire Redoute's Choice from a Stravinsky mare. Keen to replicate the cross, she sent Four Seasons to Redoute's Choice's Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes winning son Hampton Court. The result was a colt foaled last September and she is back in foal to the same sire who stands at Spenthrift Australia, Romsey. Victoria. Belinda was even happier when informed that last Saturday's Group 3 Premier Cup winner The Candy Man is also bred on a similar Danehill/Stravinsky cross.
Duo double qualified
FAB'S Cowboy and Machu Picchu - two horses already qualified for this year's Battle of the Bush final - have double dipped with further heat wins at Cunnamulla and Nanango respectively.
Having already qualified at Gladstone, Fab's Cowboy, trained by Miles-based Bevan Johnston, now has back-to-back heat wins at Cunnamulla with this year's meeting postponed from Anzac Day due to wet weather.
Nanango-based Machu Picchu continued her run of good form with two Battle of the Bush heat wins in succession at Warwick and Nanango. The 6YO mare has an affinity with her local track with three wins from four starts for trainer and co-owner Brian Laherty.
A further four heats will be held at Mareeba, Bowen, Cloncurry and Goondiwindi this Saturday, followed by the concluding heat to be held at Barcaldine on Saturday, June 8. The final will be held at Eagle Farm, Brisbane on Saturday, June 22.
Redoute's Choice colt tops MM National Weanling Sale
A COLT by champion sire Redoute's Choice topped the 2019 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale when selling to international investors for $480,000 on Friday.
The colt, the only by his late sire on offer this week, attracted spirited bidding and when the gavel fell it was Stuart Bowman of United Kingdom based Blandford Bloodstock who had beaten all challengers.
The youngster is from regally related Stravinsky mare Victoire Celebre and is a half-brother to Sydney stakes winner Arab Dawn. Bowman said he and his clients were underbidders on the top priced filly of the sale, a Teofilo youngster sold for $425,000.
A half-sister to this season's group winner Pohutukawa, the filly was offered by Rothwell Park and bought by Ian Smith's Edinburgh Park Stud. It was a massive result for Rothwell who bought the filly's dam Lumina carrying the filly for $180,000 at last year's National Broodmare Sale. The three day sale ended with a record average price of almost $63,500, a record sale gross of $27,876,000 and a 78 percent clearance rate.
Magic Millions managing director Barry Bowditch said: "It was a really strong finish to Book One with six of the top ten horses of the sale being sold on Day 3. To see the quality horses sell for well in excess of what the vendors were looking for was fantastic. It's a surprise to see the average go up slightly on last year. Last year we had a few dispersals and I wasn't expecting the average to be able to surpass that level. It was good to see so many different people spreading their money across the sale."
All together with RaceQ!
RACING Queensland has launched a new home for all things racing in Queensland, with a new social media platform 'RaceQ' to make the sport more accessible to fans than ever before.
'RaceQ' will bring all the latest news, events and form - previously supplied by the Racing Qld Events and Puntersland social platforms - all in the one place, just in time for the 2019 TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival which is now in full swing.
Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said the exciting new platform has been launched on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allowing fans to quickly engage with the information most important to them. "RaceQ is All Racing, All Queensland. Whether you're a participant, a hardened punter or simply enjoy an occasional day at the races, RaceQ will make it easier for fans to keep up with all that's happening in racing across our state," he said.
Mr Parnell said all of the same pieces of content fans came to know and love over the past two years would remain in place on RaceQ, with an enhanced focus on taking fans on a journey so they can see first-hand what makes racing so great. "There are countless good stories unfolding on racetracks across Queensland every day. RaceQ will strive to take you behind the scenes to meet the people that make this industry what it is," he said.
Fans will be able to find and engage with the content provided by RaceQ, such as:
- Up-coming events and ticket offers.
- Form analysis and 'Runners To Watch'.
- Feature video stories on Queensland participants.
- Latest racing news across all three codes in Queensland.
- Information on accessing the thrills of ownership.
- Raceday Previews and Reviews.
- Live race day coverage from the track and much more!
The Racing Queensland Facebook and Twitter pages will remain in place to keep stakeholders up-to-date with the latest industry information.
"RaceQ will be critical to ensuring Racing Queensland continues to grow its fan base into the future, with a focus to promote race day attendance, horse or greyhound ownership, participation and wagering on Queensland product," Mr Parnell said.