Bart Cummings


Bart Cummings


James Bartholomew 'Bart' Cummings AM (born 14 November 1927) is one of the most successful Australian racehorse trainers, and is known as the Melbourne Cup King, having won the 'race that stops a nation' a record eleven times.

Early life

Cummings was born in South Australia in 1927, son of successful trainer Jim Cummings. He started his career working for his father as a strapper, despite being allergic to hay.

Training career

Cummings received his trainer license in 1953, and set up stables at Glenelg in South Australia. His first significant win came in 1958, when he won the South Australian Derby, the same year he bought his first yearling.

Cummings won his first Trainer's Premiership in the 1965-1966 season. Not only did he achieve his first Melbourne Cup victory, but he also won the Adelaide, Caulfield, Sandown, Sydney, Brisbane and Queen's cups.

In 1968, Cummings opened stables at Flemington in Melbourne, home of the Flemington Racecourse, now called 'Saintly Lodge'. Later that year, he won the Trainer's Premiership in both Victoria and South Australia, a feat which he would replicate in the 1969 and 1970 seasons.

In 1969, the favourite for the Melbourne Cup was Cummings' horse Big Philou, which had already won the Caulfield Cup. However, the horse was drugged with a large dose of laxative the night before the race and was unable to compete.

In 1975, Cummings moved his operations to a new facility near Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, called 'Leilani Lodge'.

In the late 1980s, Cummings spent millions of dollars purchasing racehorses, much of the money spent on behalf of a tax minimization syndicate. Unfortunately, like many other trainers Cummings was hit hard by the recession of the early 1990s. With help from Reg Inglis' organization, however, he was able to avoid certain bankruptcy and continue training.

On 11 December 1991, Bart Cummings was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. He was also an inaugural inductee into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. He was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1982 for his services to the racing industry. In 2007, Australia Post placed his image on a postage stamp as part of its Australian Legends series.

So far, Cummings has achieved 248 Group 1 victories, and 690 Stakes victories. He has won the Golden Slipper Stakes four times, and the Newmarket Handicap eight times.

Bart Cummings' most recent Group 1 winner was Sirmione at 60-1 in the Mackinnon Stakes.

Melbourne Cup winners

Cummings has trained ten winners of the Melbourne Cup, for a total of eleven wins:

* Light Fingers (1965)
* Galilee (1966)
* Red Handed (1967)
* Think Big (1974 & 1975)
* Gold and Black (1977)
* Hyperno (1979)
* Kingston Rule (1990)
* Let's Elope (1991)
* Saintly (1996)
* Rogan Josh (1999)

Cummings' Melbourne Cup trophies are on display at the Australian Racing Museum in Federation Square, in Melbourne.

In 1965, 1966, 1974, 1975, and 1991, Cummings trained both the first and second place winners in the Melbourne Cup. (Credit: Wikipedia).

 

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