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Clare Cunningham Trains First Winner

By Brad Gray

Clare Cunningham is on the board as a trainer with Sir Barb taking out the Goulburn Signs Benchmark 65 Handicap (1400m) at Goulburn on Monday.

Sir Barb was just the third runner Cunningham had thrown a saddle over since taking out her training licence.

“That tastes beautiful – just like caviar!” said an elated Cunningham.

“It’s a thrill and I owe a lot of thanks to the people who have supported me along the way.”

Sir Barb, who ran sixth as Cunningham’s first ever runner a fortnight earlier, has a history of missing the start and true to form he found himself last in the run.

“We weren’t too disheartened last start. He got back off a slow tempo and ran good sectionals late. He improved a lot from the run and pulled up well. We knew the 1400m would suit him,” Cunningham said.

“We were planning on riding him a bit closer to the speed. He bombed the start again but he has got the turn of foot.

“He has always had the ability it was just whether he wanted to deliver it or not.”

The Warwick Farm-based trainer, who spent a period of time as forewoman for Peter Moody’s Sydney satellite stable, currently has five horses under her care but with early results like Sir Barb, that number is likely to swell.

“I had another call this morning for another one to arrive so we’re slowly getting momentum and this should help.”

Sir Barb's Goulburn win

Jason Collett, who is Cunningham’s boyfriend, kept the five-year-old balanced turning for home before sweeping down the outside to beat Joe Pride’s handy gelding Kitteau.

“They started fanning early and it was just a matter of being patient and once we come off their backs, he was the fresh horse on the scene,” Collett said.

“It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks – I don’t think he is ever going to jump.”

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