Warwick Farm has again given fledging trainer Clare Cunningham an unforgettable moment as Sir Barb stormed home to supply her second metropolitan winner on her home track.
The six-year-old emulated stablemate Tenorino who won earlier this month.
And although Cunningham’s partner Jason Collett was unable to ride on Wednesday, there was a still a close knit connection.
“It’s me and my siblings’ horse,” Cunningham said.
Collett, who is serving a suspension for careless riding, watched the Benchmark 75 (1600m) unfold from the stands alongside Cunningham and then acted as strapper.
“It’s a little bit cruel but he’s as happy as I am,” Cunningham said.
Sir Barb’s withering burst enabled him to pip Arigold ($9) by a half head with $3.40 favourite Fortensky another long neck third.
Cunningham, who used to run Peter Moody’s Sydney stable, started training out of Warwick Farm in April and this season she has three wins and two placings from eight runners.
While Tenorino’s exploits set the benchmark on her home track, Cunningham will always have a soft spot for Sir Barb, a $7 chance who racked up two wins at Goulburn earlier this winter.
“I remember going to the first trial with him and being this nervous and not even knowing if he’d jump out of the gates,” she said.
“I never dreamt of this to be honest. We were talking about maybe selling him, turning him over and making a bit of money for the stable but he’s going to stay forever now.
“He’s my lead pony when he retires.”
Cunningham also paid tribute to jockey Josh Adams who continues to make his comeback from drug-related issues.
“Can I say a big congratulations to Josh. He’s working very hard and doing very well,” Cunningham said.
Sydney’s premier jockey Hugh Bowman kept up his momentum with victory on country horse Nictock.
Trained by Cameron Crockett at Mudgee, Nictock extended his record to six wins from seven starts with a half-length win in a Benchmark 70 (1000m).
“He’s been fantastic,” Crockett said.
“When he ran third at Randwick he wasn’t ideally placed on a heavy track first-up. That’s not his fault, he should probably have a clean record.”
Gold Coast trainer Marcus Wilson also had a worthwhile road trip with veteran Meteorologist causing a $31 upset in the Benchmark 70 (2200m) by a long head from Ready For Success ($6.50).
“Because he’s such a big horse he struggles around Doomben,” Wilson said.
“He’s a good horse round Eagle Farm but it’s got to get ripped back up again, hence the reason we’ve come south.”
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