By Julieanne Horsman
She is best known for successfully running Peter Moody’s Sydney satellite stable but now Clare Cunningham is forging a path of her own.
The young gun has been granted a trainer’s license and from today will be operating out of her new stables at Warwick Farm.
“I’m really excited,” Cunningham said. “Horse racing has been part of my life since birth and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.”
Cunningham admits she felt lost when Peter Moody closed his stables down, but she was quickly offered work by other trainers including Gai Waterhouse, Bjorn Baker and Joe Pride. She was also snapped up for several part-time media roles.
“I travelled with Bjorn’s horses and that’s when I realised my future was definitely in horse racing,” she said. “I loved seeing the horses and being with them. It was clear what my next step should be.”
Having spent time at all Sydney racetracks, Cunningham chose Warwick Farm to begin her solo training career because of the variety of facilities and relaxed atmosphere.
“It’s a very versatile track,” she said. “There are loads of options to maintain your horses’ fitness. There’s a polo field out the back and bush tracks right there. The poly track is also a huge asset for us. The recent wet weather has forced the closure of tracks all over NSW but training has been able to go ahead at Warwick Farm.”
Cunningham already has several horses in her care.
“There’s been some wonderful support from Peter Moody’s former clients and my family is right behind me as well,” she said.
“My siblings and I bought a horse named Sir Barb off an auction site and he will most likely be my first starter. I know the horse from when Bjorn had him. The trainer after that had a bit of trouble with him but I am hopeful of being able to spend some time with him and correct his issues.
“I’m so grateful for everyone who helped me along the way, those who employed me, taught me the ins and outs of the industry, encouraged me and gave me references to get my license.
“I’m ready to put my head down and work hard so if anyone has horses they would like trained in a small and caring stable, give me a call.”