Nov 21, 2022

By Terry Kennedy

Gunsynd – The Goondiwindi Grey

 The greatest showman – racehorse

It would be easy to argue that there has never been a racehorse to love the camera just like this amazing grey. He would stop for photographers & refuse to go out onto the track until the crowd acknowledged him with applause; he would then bow in return and proceed to the track. What a character!

Affordable racehorse ownership

Gunsynd was purchased for only $1,300 in 1969 by a newsagent owner, a hotelier, a grazier & business executive. The 4 men had one hope, to win a race at their local track.

Racing career

With 29 wins from 54 starts he achieved far more than winning a race at the local track! He debuted in 1969 at Eagle Farm and quickly turned heads with 4 wins from 4 starts! Bill Wehlow was training Gunsynd & was ecstatic, delivering 12 wins from 22 starts for the owners.

A change in trainer

But it was a change in trainer that catapulted Gunsynd, under the guidance of Tommy Smith he became a legendary racehorse.

The mile quadruple

In one season, he took out The Doncaster, The Epsom, The George Adams and The Toorak, he was virtually unbeatable over a mile; in his 7 starts at this distance, he was only ever beaten once – by half a head.

A courageous & charming racehorse 

His most courageous race was the 1972 Melbourne Cup. He finished third but was carrying a huge 12.5kg over the winner on the day; his fighting spirit truly shone on that Cup day at Flemington.

Australia’s champion horse

In the ’71 / ’72 season, he won 5 group 1’s, including the Cox Plate and was rightfully awarded Champion racehorse of the year for the season.



Australian record for Prize Money

Gunsynd won more than $270,000 in prize money, an Australian record then; if today he had raced, his prize money would be over $11m!

Gunsynd, The Goondiwindi Grey

He is immortalised through the song by Tex Morton ‘The Goondiwindi Grey’, and there is a statue of him in the Queensland town for which he made famous. He is the only animal that graces Queensland’s Icon list, and he holds his place in Racing’s Hall of Fame… deservedly so for everything he achieved, for his courage & charm, and for being the greatest showman of them all.

Gunsynd, the Goondiwindi grey.

The Racing League