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Trusty Lad EFTrusty Lad Looks Bright Hope in “Goondiwindi Grey” Classic

Queensland three-year-old Trusty Lad (Reliable Man) heads to the $140,000 Group 3 Gunsynd Classic over 1600m on Saturday as he takes the next step towards the A$600,000 Channel 7 Queensland Derby in June and meets a contingent of Sydney three-year-olds as the migration starts to roll into to Brisbane for the Queensland winter carnival.

The Gunsynd Classic will be Trusty Lad’s second start back from a spell after he closed strongly for second over 1400m just two weeks ago when to the talented Racecourse Road. Trusty Lad closed off the race strongly under James Orman and the official time of 1:22.98 signalled that Trusty lad has returned in tip top order for his connections.

Trained by Matt Kropp, Trusty Lad will only get better as he steps up in journey and one would expect the horse to be making ground solidly at the business end of the race on Saturday with races like the Rough Habit Plate Gr.3 and the Grand Prix Stakes Gr.2 ideal lead ups to his grand final in June.  

Trusty Lad is out of the Anabaa mare Miss Juventus and has a very nice weanling brother by Tarzino heading to the yearling sales in January.

Saturday’s race is named for one of all-time greats of the Australian turf in Gunsynd who was affectionately known as the Goondiwindi Grey. By relatively unknown sire Sunset Hue, Gunsynd was a $1300 yearling purchase for four gentlemen from Goondiwindi and the horse began his career with local trainer Bill Wehlow before relocating to the legendary Tommy Smith at Randwick.

As a four-year-old Gunsynd won four of the “major miles” – the Epsom Handicap, the Toorak Handicap, the George Adams Handicap, and the Doncaster Handicap – and at five he was narrowly beaten by the outstanding Triton in the 1972 Epsom Handicap before carrying 9 stone 7 pounds (60.5kg) to victory in his second Doncaster Handicap. Gunsynd went on to win the 1972 WS Cox Plate and finish third to Piping Lane in the Melbourne Cup. Gunsynd was crowned Australia’s Champion Racehorse for the 1972-73 season and has been inducted to the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.

Such was the fame of the Goondiwindi Grey that in 1973, Tex Morton recorded a song The Goondiwindi Grey (The Gunsynd Song), written by Nev Hauritz and Brian Wallace, as a tribute to him. A statue in his honour was erected in his hometown of Goondiwindi.

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