SHORT DISTANCE WEAPON: Gunnaza has been super consistent for trainer Mick O'Neill.
SHORT DISTANCE WEAPON: Gunnaza has been super consistent for trainer Mick O'Neill. Adam Hourigan

Age not an issue for ever consistent gelding

HORSE RACING: You could excuse an eight-year-old gelding who's had his share of injury problems to lose interest in racing and begin looking for the paddock.

But retirement is the last thing on Gunnaza's mind.

The Mick O'Neill-trained sprinter led the field for most of his race at Gosford last Friday, only to be run down by Prophet's Thumb in the last 100m.

Gunnaza held on for a fighting second, his fifth placing in a row.

"It was a carbon copy of his run before, he did the exact same thing at Gosford,” O'Neill said of his charger.

"Unfortunately we just keep coming up against a better horse... But to have 18 cheques in 28 starts you can't complain, he's very consistent. I'd like to have a stable full of him.”

Gunnaza has won over $100,000 in prize money in a career that's featured very few disappointing starts at tracks all over NSW.

With six wins on his resume, O'Neill is usually forced to travel to city and provincial meetings to get Gunnaza a start.

"We've just got to take each race as it comes, the hardest part about this training caper is placing your horse and where you think you can win,” he said.

"You can't dodge good horses because they're younger and coming up all the time, I'm just happy to have an eight-year-old who is still going good and is happy to travel.

"We don't spell him, we just keep him topped up all the time and don't work him too hard.”

O'Neill said he has his eyes on a midweek race at Warwick Farm in a few weeks for Gunnaza's next start.



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