Cunninghams ride their luck
PADDY and Kathy Cunningham have been riding their luck.
The rich vein of good fortune from their stables started in the autumn with two-year-old Shinji launching its career with a hat-trick of wins including two at Eagle Farm.
That was followed by another metropolitan win with Aimalac Burra then stablemates Carry Me Gee Gee and Za Night joined the party closer to home.
The Cunninghams hope that's not about to end when the July Racing Carnival begins today.
"Everything's going good," Paddy Cunningham said. "I just hopeI haven't used up all my luck."
The trainer has three starters today, most notably in the John Carlton Cup with Aimalac Burra, which was the first emergency but gets a start because Steele Ryan has pulled Heroic Action out of the field.
The respected four-year-old comes off a win at Murwillumbah on June 22 - its first at the 1200m.
"He's up in class this time," Paddy Cunningham said.
"But he's doing everything right. He'd only won over 1000 metres until last time, but he's showing he can run 1200."
The winner of the John Carlton Cup is exempt from the ballot for the Ramornie Handicap next Wednesday.
The 2013 winner, Youthful Jack, is back and will start as the top weight today, carrying 62kg with Scott Thurlow to ride.
"He's well weighted actually, in a Quality race," Cunningham said.
Cunningham did not confirm he would start Aimalac Burra in the Ramornie should he win the John Carlton Cup at 3.40pm.
"The rating would go through the roof so you'd have to think about it. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
"There's plenty of options for him coming up here at Grafton.
"There's a 70 rating, or even the Maclean Cup if he can go more than 1200. There's also some nice races up in Queensland."
Meanwhile, Little Nathan has drawn wide in barrier 18 for the 1610m Benchmark 50 Handicap.
Xian's Pride will make its first start in the Two-Year-Old Maiden Plate (1006m).