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Cunningham prepared the Pay Me Christian colt Ares to a debut win in the 2yr-old race at Ascot Park on Thursday night, and Ares is just one of two horses he has racing at the moment.
''I farm [at West Melton] and [racing] is just a hobby,'' Cunningham said.
While that may be the case, he has some star-power next door which he taps into regularly.
''We're next door to Graham and Paul Court and they've been a huge help to us,'' he said.
Cunningham sourced Ares on a trip to Nevele R Stud with Paul Court and another mate and the youngster caught Cunningham's eye immediately.
''It was just the way he stood. He was an upstanding wee fella as a weanling - he was a very proud-looking horse.''
Ares is named after the Greek god of war and once Cunningham got him home, the colt gave every indication he would be up and running as a 2yr-old.
''Everything he did he took it on board very well and very quickly, and he's very relaxed, even for a colt.''
Cunningham might have a go at the Sapling Stakes at Ashburton early next month.
''I want to give him a few days off when he gets home,'' he said.
''It'll only be a few days but we're not going to rush him.''
Many hobby trainers dabble in beef or sheep, but Cunningham's farm is a little different.
''We fatten chickens for Tegel.''
Cunningham had success at Rangiora on December 23 with Sundons Comet and he also gained a win with the Big Tom gelding Jimi Chew at Timaru in April 2011.
Paul Court picked up the drive behind Ares after their 2yr-old, John Jones, was scratched. and Ares would be much better for the trip, he said.