By Ray Hickson
There’s no doubt in trainer Clare Cunningham’s mind that Tenorino is crying out for the mile of his assignment at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
How Blake Shinn is going to navigate the five-year-old from an inside alley is the jockey’s problem but it’s also something playing on Cunningham’s mind.
Tenorino managed to weave his way through to win at the Farm on August 2, and hand Cunningham her first city win, but she feels he’ll be at his best when allowed a bit of room – something he may not get from barrier two in the Tab.com.au Handicap (1600m).
“The main aim will be for Blake to shut him down early, if he isn’t he won’t run the mile out strongly,’’ she said.
“He needs to be somewhere he can relax and start winding him up. When Jason (Collett) won on him he came between horses and travelled inside horses but he’s not 100 per cent comfortable doing it.
“It looks like a nice race for him and with the weight (60kg) you wouldn’t mind a kilo or two off him but at the moment it’s not worth it.
“Until he starts becoming a bit more bomb proof he’s a senior jockey’s horse.’’
Tenorino's last start fourth at Warwick Farm – August 23
While Tenorino was able to sprint home to win at 1400m second-up from a spell he lacked the same dash when finishing fourth over the same course on August 23.
“We’re putting it down to maybe needing the mile. He lost that ‘attacking the line’ style he had over 1400m,’’ Cunningham said.
“He seemed to run through the line and take a bit to pull up. He’s bred to stay all day so I’m looking forward to getting him up over a trip.
“He wasn’t acting like a stayer early on but we’ve been working on making him switch off and hit the line strongly.’’
It’s been a dream start for Cunningham’s training career.
She prepared her first winner, Sir Barb at Goulburn in June, at just her third runner – something made more special by her partner Jason Collett riding the horse – and has won five races (two in the city) from 21 starters.
That’s with seven horses currently in work and a total of 20 on the books.
“I wouldn’t have imagined I would get a city winner so soon,’’ she said.
“I’m stoked. Not many of them have disappointed me.