Robyn Shakespeare admits to shedding a tear when Gunsablazin’ scored an unexpected maiden victory at Bendigo on Sunday.
Gunsablazin’ is one of three horses sired by Hurdy Gurdy Man who died of a colic attack on New Year’s Day, 2017.
Robyn and her late husband Ed, who died six years ago, bred Hurdy Gurdy Man (Street Cry/Abalone), a Victorian Horse of the Year and winner of the Group 3 Hobart Cup (2200m) in 2013.
Robyn bred and races Hurdy Gurdy Man filly, Robyn’s Folly, and has a small share in Gunsablazin’, while the third foal by Hurdy Gurdy Man died shortly after birth.
Robyn is thankful she was talked into taking a small share in Gunsablazin’ by Ballarat trainer Brittany Goodwin who bred the gelding and races her with family and friends, including Robyn.
After some battling performances early in his career, Gunsablazin’, which is out of Honourable Miss, showed some improved form leading into his eighth start when he won over 1600m at odds of $31.
Robyn’s Folly, who is trained at Warrnambool by Daniel Bowman, had run third at her first start and followed it up with some close finishes at his next two starts before being disappointing in her past two runs.
And Robyn’s Folly, which was named after Robyn, is also only a three year-old and Bowman remains confident the filly has a win in her.
The filly was bred by Robyn and her late husband and is out of their mare Shiny and New (Foreplay/Shag’s Sister) which won six races.
Robyn said she was so glad Brittany talked her into taking a small share in Gunsablazin’.
“Ed died six years ago and I have struggled with my life since then. I was planning on getting out of the horses as they are so expensive, but Brittany really wanted me to take a share and I relented,” she said.
“That’s why I took the small share and I am so glad she talked me into it. I’d be devastated if I hadn’t.”
Hurdy Gurdy Man was sold for $20,000 by Robyn as a stallion prospect after he retired and included in the sale was a free service which produced Robyn’s Folly and Gunsablazin’ from his one season when he only served three mares.
Robyn said it was emotional when Gunsablazin’ won.
“I was quite distracted the other day when they were both entered in the same race and were to pair off against each other but circumstances changed and I don’t think either of them ran in that race,’’ she said.
“I didn’t know where my brain was when he won. I wanted to close a chapter because we were both little breeders and Ed was right into matings, pedigrees, stallions and he absolutely loved it and it was his passion.
“I am just so upset that he didn’t see the end result.”
And it’s now up to Robyn’s Folly to add to the story.
Brittany Goodwin said she was also confident in the ability of Gunsablazin’.
“He’s our very first homebred,” Goodwin told Racing.com
“We were lucky enough that our mare (Honourable Miss) fell pregnant to Hurdy Gurdy Man and then he unfortunately passed away a week after we found out that she was pregnant.”