Trainer Paddy Cunningham and part owner Danielle Cunningham with horse
Trainer Paddy Cunningham and part owner Danielle Cunningham with horse "Shinji" - that won at Eagle Farm on Saturday. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

Drought-breaker

SHINJI is the first locally trained horse since Forestreno to notch a metropolitan win.

The two-year-old conveniently saluted on Golden Slipper day, some nine hundred kilometres north in the $50,000 Two-Year-Old Handicap over 1000 metres at Eagle Farm in Brisbane.

The Paddy Cunningham trained filly won by three lengths from Deuced (Ric McMahon, $41) and Choc Mountain (Ryan Wiggins, $12) with $2.40 favourite Sarisara ridden by Tim Bell fourth.

"The race went to plan real good," Cunningham said.

"She got a good draw (six) and got out with them and was able to settle just in behind the leader.

"Running third, she moved up on the outside and couldn't have asked for a better ride.

Paying $14 for the win, Shinji was ridden by former local rider Tegan Harrison, now based in Brisbane.

"Tegan grew up in Maclean and went through pony club with our girls," Kath Cunningham said.

"She's ridden for us here and in the city, but this was her first city winner for Paddy."

The win followed an impressive debut winning the Two-Year-Old Handicap over 1000 metres at Grafton on March 8. On that occasion Shinji drew the inside barrier.

"Drawing one along the rails here was a big help," Cunningham said.

"Being her first start she had something to follow."

While it's been a long time between drinks, Cunningham is no stranger to city success, nor is it his first two-year-old success.

On New Year's Eve 2005 he triumphed in the $150,000 Listed Tommy Smith Slipper (1200m) with Master Archie prevailing in a three-way photo finish.

A total of 20 people from Westlawn Business Services are on the syndicate ticket of Shinji, who was purchased from the 2013 Magic Millions Sale.

"The majority of us are first time horse owners so if the horse racing game is this easy, then please," Inskip joked.

"We always talked about taking a share in a racehorse. We put the word out and there was plenty of interest."

Now each has a five per cent share in Shinji as well as All Cashed Up, who is "still a work in progress".

Shinji is in line to return to Brisbane on April 19 before a spell and possibly Melbourne in the spring.

Cunningham has one runner at Grafton today - Carry Me Gee Gee ridden by Jodi Worley in the second of the day, the Coca Cola Maiden Plate at 12.40pm.



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