Cunninghams hope for Carlton Cup

WHEN Kathy Cunningham's sentimental favourite Getyourown flies from the barriers in today's $17,000 John Carlton Cup (1200m), the wife of trainer Paddy Cunningham won't be watching.

“I go away and hide. I can't watch her race,” Cunningham said shyly.

“I get too worked up. Too nervous.

“I'll go away and find a nice quiet place, maybe watch the last bit on television.

“I don't know why, but I can't watch our horses. I'm more likely to chase them down the home straight.”

Cunningham-bred Getyourown, by Waterford Road out of Smart Dancer, was picked up at a Gold Coast tried horse sale to help further the career of the Cunningham's jockey-daughter Kylie.

While born in Coffs Harbour, Cunningham was raised and schooled in Grafton. Her family owns a property on the outskirts.

Like the six-year-old mare, nicknamed Candy, Cunningham loves the Northern Rivers city. She returned with Paddy from the Sunshine Coast nearly three years ago.

“It would be lovely to win the John Carlton. A home-town win, well, unbelievable,” she enthused.

“Especially when all the family are home for the carnival.

“It's exciting.”

Cunningham races Getyourown with long-time friends Nancy Clarke, from the Sunshine Coast, and Rose Sloan, from Whiteman's Creek.

If Getyourown runs up to expectations today, a start in the $150,000 WHK Ramornie (1200m) next Wednesday is on the cards.

The Cunninghams have never saddled up a Ramornie runner.

“It's dependent on how she performs,” Cunningham said. “You don't get many opportunities to run in those sort of races, especially on home turf.

“She'll be nominated. We'll see what happens.”

Getyourown, a winner of nine from 42 starts, has turned in two good runs since resuming from an 81-day break.

“The mare is very well, nice and relaxed,” Cunningham said. “And she's been on her best behaviour lately. Hopefully it's the same tomorrow.

“She had a bit of a temperament but she's settled down, with age and maturity.

“And she specifically loves Grafton – likes crossing the road to race and back home. She can lead or race forward and gets in well at the weights (52.5kg after Samantha Munro's 1.5kg claim).

“We're really looking forward to tomorrow.”

Getyourown is rated an $11 chance behind Stephen Lee's $4 favourite, Show A Lion Heart.

Other local hopes are Innocenttassie ($13) and Auld Lang Syne ($11).

Topics:  grafton racing carnival

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